As you may have seen in our news item, Vicki Burt from our Household Insurance department recently ran (and finished) the London Marathon, raising over £9,000 for the African Revival charity in the process. Here is her account of an amazing two days.
April 22nd has now gone by but two sprained ankles later, a couple of days off work and one trip to A and E will never let me forget such an amazing achievement.
Saturday 21st April
One day to go. I was feeling the pressure, the nerves but most importantly the excitement. Julie Carter her, son Tom and I travelled to London in the early hours of the morning armed with the company credit card. GREAT…. the Ritz I thought, but Holiday Inn we got! It was a long day of tiresome travelling on trains, the underground, our feet and then finally a cab. We all did quite well not to get lost; we even managed to direct the cab driver to the hotel in his own territory…. AND he was a BLOKE!!!
Later in the day we travelled to EXCEL to register for the Marathon, get my running number to which when I received a red running number that I was to start at the Red Start (obviously) but having previously thought I was to start at the Blue Start…what a twit!
I signed the ‘Impossible is Nothing’ wall with the words ‘Vicki Burt going for GOLD’ However I later realised that this was far from the truth. It was amazing to see everyone the day before race day going through the same emotions that I was. From that point on…26.2 miles was sinking in!
We arrived at the hotel tired, exhausted and ready for some grub. A 3 course meal was on the menu, but a couple of glasses of wine was for Julie! Anyway after stuffing our faces it was time to get some well-deserved sleep, as it was an early start to the morning.
Sunday 22nd April
Race Day. 5.30am. AAARRRRGGGHHH!!! Thousands of thoughts were playing havoc on my mind. The day was finally here. After having a big breakfast we boarded the bus to take us to the ‘correct start’.
9.45am. Start Time. As we all crowded together the camera from high above studied us and we all cheered and waved in such excitement. We then began the gruelling 26.2 miles
The first couple of miles I was feeling fantastic, on top form and in great shape. The atmosphere was amazing and unmissable, something that will never be forgotten by any of the 35,000 runners taking part.
Then the heat started to get the better of me (sunburn to prove). However at mile 11 I saw Julie and some of my department who came to support me (thank you so much by the way). They were all cheering and shouting for me, which really lifted my spirits and willed me to continue running until mile 13 (halfway!)
Miles 14, 15 and 16 started to takes it toll me on, I ran half of each mile then needed to walk the other half to the next mile. I struggled to keep going and whilst I received a massage to relieve me ever so aching legs I thought about everyone who sponsored me, my department, all the supporters, the crowd cheering me on and African Revival. I soon got up and proceeded even through all my pain!
Miles 17 to 19 was pure pain but my only thought now was finishing the London Marathon. The crowd were the best, offering sweets for a sugar rush, various types of fruits and sandwiches, which all helped as I was starving by this point. Everyone was cheering my name (printed on my t-shirt) I felt famous!
From mile 20 to 25 I was forced to walk having now got blisters and swollen feet! It was in these last unforgettable miles that I befriended a rhino, a clown and a big hand! The last 800 metres had arrived…. they felt never ending but well worth it! I began sprinting to the finish line where I saw the familiar faces of my department once again, this time they were crazy with excitement knowing that just around the corner I would cross that important line.
|10K 1:09:25||Overall Position 34,242||20K 2:27:48||Gender Position 10,061||Half way 2:34:36||Age Group (18-19yrs) 48||30K 4:15:38|
(Started to take its toll on me!)
|40K 6:06:42||Finish Time 6:27:55|
I am so grateful for being given the opportunity to take part in such an amazing event. For Adrian Flux and their much given support. I am forever thankful to those who took the time and effort to be there on the day for me, and everyone who believed in me! You all really helped me, without you guys it would have been very difficult to continue. This is such a huge achievement and the memories will last forever! I highly recommend this to all!