My VLM story!!

I DID IT!!!!

Yep, I managed to hold myself together and not only complete the 2015 Virgin London Marathon…but dare I say it..actually enjoyed it!!!

I came in at a pretty respectable official time of 5:04:29 (my own watch reading 4:59:23).

I have memories that will simply last a lifetime, and I have been re-living the event over and over again in my mind, scared to let them go. The sheer volume of runners and spectators is quite overwhelming, as is the crowd noise. I am sure I was deaf before I even got the two mile point.

I have never had so many people screeching my name – not calling – I mean full on screaming. It felt unreal. We passed every shape and size of humanity, along with blind and deaf runners, amputees, those actually with cancer (carrying their drips on their back), and every possible combination of fancy dress. Rhino’s, dinosaurs, a chicken, an emu, a giraffe and a guy with a cross on his back looking like Jesus running in nothing but a loincloth and barefoot! I congratulated a four man bob sled team who were running in their sledge, a lady in a womble costume, a couple tied up three-legged and guy in a phonebox. And you think I am mad???? Think again people!

When I say ‘we’ – I mean myself and another lady. We met at the start, both shivering in our uniform black bin bags (never underestimate the warming power of a bin bag I can tell you!). We politely exchanged hello’s and good luck’s at the start, and of course as you are hemmed in like sheep in a pen, we carried on chatting. It transpired she had only turned 18 years old a couple of weeks earlier and this was her first ever official race. (she had run before though!) Allie told me that she wanted to try and keep to an 11 min mile pace, which suited me too, so I suggested if she wanted we could do the first three miles together till we warmed up then naturally split off as and when. Perfect, we both agreed.

The next think you know we are at the Cutty Sark (6 miles) and chatting like old friends. We were laughing and smiling and having a really great time! Every time we spotted someone in a costume, we set ourselves a target of getting level with them and taking a selfie. Still sticking to pace we slowed on occasion when passing bands (amazing how fast you pick up a pace to bagpipes/steel drums and a salsa troupe!)

Time just flew drinking in all the spectators signs, points of interest and chatting with other runners. Almost blinked and missed mile 12, and the next thing you know we are on the spot out for my running club buddies who were pitching up at 12 1/2 miles. Managed to get a lot of high five’s in from the Green Army as we passed them and Jit had also joined them at this point to so he was trying to keep up alongside to get some photos.

Halfway point came and went and it was total joy! We managed to spot Allie’s parents too on Tower Bridge so she was very excited. More selfies with costumes followed, as did spectator offerings of Jaffa cakes, fruit skewers, jelly babies, jelly beans, orange segments and even doughnuts!!! I have never seen so many people in my life standing 5 or 6 deep on pavements calling out and clapping every single runner as they passed. Half of London must now be lined up in Boots the chemist buying throat sweets.

Mile, 16, 17, 18, 19 just pinged by – we saw famous buildings from every angle and passed the Tower of London at least three times. Jit’s relatives whom we had dinner with the night before even managed to spot me and wave and clap – no mean feat I can tell you. What made me day though was a barrage of ‘Jenny, Jenny, JENNY’ at some point at mile 20. I looked over and saw a old work colleague I hadn’t seen for 11 years smiling and shouting – that was a shock! My feet kept running though despite the desire to run over and grab a hug, so I shall have to email her later to organise a proper meet up!

Mile 22 saw a lot of people struggling, but the crowds building again and the anticipation of the final stretch just took us over in a wave. Allie and I were still together and at this point joking we now couldn’t run away from each other even if we tried! Legs were feeling tired and Allie’s knee was starting to give her pain. We slowed down and took it a bit easier and regained a bit of composure. So far, yet still we had to go on.

We spotted Allie’s parents again just before we entered the last tunnel before coming on the Embankment (Mile 24) so that boosted us both, but coming out of the tunnel, my own legs turned to steel. I urged Allie to carry on as I didn’t want to hold her back, so for the first time in the whole run, I had to walk for about 200 metres. Gutted, but there was no way I could run. Once I got level though and spotted Big Ben, I started up again. My thighs were literally on fire and I very slowly plodded on. That last 2 miles were the toughest ever. I turned at Big Ben to hear a ‘We love you Jenny Wallis’ booming out of a loudhailer. A splinter group from the running club had made it to this point and were frantically egging me on. Not sure I smiled, but I waved in acknowledgment… then the Mall. It was like the widest path to hell! I could see the famous red spectator stands either side of me, but I had my head down – one step, one step…The red line was within my sights, but a sprint finish eluded me. Feet planted on the carpet…I am OVER! That was it. I had actually shifted my body round 26.2 miles of pavement around one of the World’s favourite capital cities. Bloody hell!

I want to say a massive yes MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has called/texted/emailed and supported me in whatever form. I am still trying to get replied to everyone so please be patient. A total amount of £500 is now winging its way to Plan International and I am sure some of it will be directed straight away to the spiralling situation in Nepal. I CANNOT THANK YOU ALL ENOUGH. I simply ran – you believed in me to achieve something – and that is more humbling than anything else.

You know I said never again…this is a one off…not a chance….hmmm……I will keep you posted! OCD me can’t rest at 5:04….I will just have to try and get under that!

I am a Virgin Marathoner no longer!

Jenny X

Redway Runners AGM

Many thanks to all those that came along to what is arguably the most important session of the year for the club, Redway Runners AGM and we reviewed activity in the last year and looked forward to some of the plans for the upcoming year. Martin especially thanked all the committee members, the run leads and everyone who has helped the club have another fantastic year

The key items were:

  • Changes to the constitution agreed
  • Last year as a club we raised £1,811 for the club charity of the year, ‘Harry Rainbow Charitable Trust’ and we will be arranging to present a cheque to them soon and hopefully get this total matched by a local business
  • For the Cross Country season next year, Kerry Cooper has agreed to manage the ladies team
  • Furzton Relay will be on the 26 July and Andy Hully will be Race Director
  • We launched a new event for the club – ‘Beat the Barge’ more details to follow
  • Committee has been agreed for the next year:
  1. Chair; Martin
  2. Treasurer; Karen
  3. Secretary; Denise
  4. UKA Membership: Nigel
  5. Welfare: Rena (this will be a non voting role)
  6. On-Line Activity; Jamie
  7. Social; Julie
  8. Press activity; Kevin (this is a new role)
  9. Run Lead co-ordinator; Jonathan

We voted on the new charity of the year and it was a very close vote that went to Bravery Boxes

We will hopefully get the AGM report on the club web site soon.

Redway Runners New event

This promises to be a fun and exciting first staging of the race which we are limiting to 80 runners on a first come first served basis for the first year

The full details and the entry form can be found on the club website (link below) and more information will be coming out in the weekly email and Facebook posts in due course

http://www.redwayrunners.com/events/beat-the-barge/

Milton Keynes Marathon

Milton Keynes Marathon

Redway Runners preparations for the Milton Keynes Marathon / half marathon are progressing well – hopefully all the information is below

ON THE DAY
Runners timetable
9:40 – Big Club green photo, outside Frankie & Bennys
10:00 – Races start

Helpers
Those helping on the course will have been told who and where to report to, but if you find you can help on the day, please click on Event Crew on the MK Marathon site – but this link will close soon, then please go to one of these points – help will be gratefully received

  • Control point 1 – with Martin
  • On the V7 entrance to Saxon clinic, miles 2.5 and 7

 

  • Control point 2 – with Julie
  • Mile 9/Water stop 9 Entrance to Newport Road off H9 Groveway eastbound

 

  • Control point 3 – with Spencer
  • Mile 22.5 Water stop 22 Campbell Park entertainment circle (helipad) entrance via Avebury Boulevard.

Tacking
Your friends and family will be able to plot your progress on race day here: http://www.resultsbase.net/Results/Tracking.aspx?Id=2438

Cheering points
If anyone is not running or helping on the day and wants to cheer the runners good points will be at the control points above – wear your green tops as helps the runners see you and gives a boost to them (or peg your green top to a bean pole)

EVENING
Race day evening we will be meeting from 7pm at the Wetherspoons near to the V6 for a few celebration drinks and catch ups, dress code: marathon tees/ event crew tees and medals.

CLUB RUNS
All six club runs on Monday 4 May are cancelled which are:

  • Coached /Step Up with Portia
  • Daytime Beginners group with Doug – this will be on Thursday morning
  • Evening Beginners Group with Glenn
  • Club run with Stuart
  • Step Up group with Leigh
  • Social run

The London Marathon

The club preparations for the 2015 Virgin London Marathon this Sunday 26 April, are coming together – all the details below:

Redway Runners Updates – London
On the streets of London we have our own reporting team with Spencer and Julie posting Facebook updates through the morning on our club runners

Redway Runners Updates – Milton Keynes
We have Jenny Dowling reporting (stalking) from Milton Keynes and will be using the live runners tracker and posting updates to the club Facebook page during the race.

Redway Runners cheering point
Neil Solanki is looking after the Redway Runners cheering point which will be at about mile 12 so go along and join him – come out of Bermondsey Tube station and go left along the road (with the flow of the runners) till the crowd thins out and we will have the club flags, cannot miss them!!

Official Redway Runners photos
Terry Down will be in London with his camera and hoping to capture as many runners during the day as possible and we will be getting those photos onto the club Flickr page and hopefully some on Facebook as well

Club Ballot Places
Good luck to all our runners on the day including the 4 runners who got the club places for the event; Dawn Blaber, Andy Sangster, David Stride and Maria McQuarrie

Coach
The club coaches will be departing David Lloyd at 5.45am for the London Marathon. The coach will make a stop on route for breakfast and toilets etc before we arrive in London. We should get to the start area for 8.30am plenty of time to get yourselves sorted and spectators time to say there good lucks and goodbyes and make their out on the course.
We will make our way back to Milton Keynes leaving the ‘Moon under Water” pub Leicester Square departing 6pm. Any questions please email James at JamesDown1986@me.com

London Marathon 2016
The London Marathon 2016 ballot will be open for 5 days. The ballot system will open on Monday 4 May via the London Marathon website

Club Run
We still do have a club run on this Sunday, it will be a 90 minute run from the MK Dons

Have a great day, running, watching stalking or whatever you are doing on the day. Below is the creation of Lucinda at the London Marathon Expo.

Club AGM

Redway Runners will be holding their AGM on Tuesday 28 April from 7.30-9.00pm at David Lloyd. All paid members are welcome.

We will be electing the committee for the coming year and reporting on activities over the past year along with voting for the club charity of the year.

If you would like to nominate a charity please could you contact Denise at denise.s.browning@btinternet.com the charity and why you would like to see it supported by the club

Redway Runners at the Paris Marathon

Marathon Season begins

The marathon season is upon us and after many months of hard training Redway Runners members are now ready to run their races. On the 12th of April an impressive 21 Redway Runners made their way to France to participate in the Paris Marathon. Good race times were achieved by all with many personal bests. Next up for 10 members is the Manchester Marathon on the 19th of April followed by an impressive 35 members taking part in the most famous marathon of all in London on the 26th of April. Milton Keynes hosts it’s very own Marathon and Half Marathon on Monday 4 May and at least 43 Redway Runners will be donning the green shirt to take part.

Special mentions go to multi-marathoners Jen Sangster (Paris, London and MK), Sarah King (Manchester, London and MK), Kerry Cooper (Paris and London), Glenn Dickinson (Manchester and London), Emma Lee (London and Boston), Dennis Verhoeven (Paris and MK), Adam Sharman (Paris and London) and Will Shippin (Paris and London).

 

Most of the runners are motivated by their own personal circumstances and many good causes will benefit from their efforts. Lucinda Parish is running the London Marathon for the National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline. She has the BRCA1 gene (most people know it as the one Angelina Jolie has!) so has an 80% chance of breast cancer. This charity supports people like Lucinda with support, advice and guidance to help work through the tough decisions to get to the right conclusion. It’s a really small charity and receives no funding so she is keen to raise as much awareness, publicity and money as she can for them https://www.justgiving.com/Lucinda-Parish.

Well done to Lucinda and good luck to all runners taking part, especially those racing these distances for the first time!

Redway Runners at the Paris Marathon

Furzton Relay 2015

Pleased to announce that this year’s Furzton relay is now open for entries, Andy Hully will be the event director this year and will be looking to recruit teams and helpers for the event which is on Sunday 26 July 2015 at 14:00 at Furzton Lake Pub, Milton Keynes. All profits from the event go to the clubs charity of the year

Runners – get your entries in as we only have a limited number of places available.

Volunteers – if you can help with the event please contact Andy – we need your support to put on this event.

We also usually have a cake sale on the day, so will be looking for cake donations nearer the date.

More info and entry forms are at:
http://www.redwayrunners.com/events/furzton-relay/

Please pass on this info and help us get a sell out this year

Milton Keynes Marathon

MK Marathon & half

Not long now until the event in MK on May 4 – and still time to get one of these medals, either by running at the event or helping on the day:

RUNNING THE EVENT – Entries close on the 24 April so if you want to run then get entered – remember we have a discount for club members in the club weekly mail http://mkmarathon.com/

HELPING ON THE DAY – If you are not running then we need your help marshalling at the event – to volunteer click ‘event crew’ on the event web site. http://mkmarathon.com/

Also
**On the event day, evening we will be meeting for a post event celebration at Wetherspoons behind Santander on the V6 from 7pm – remember the medals or event crew tees

**We will not have any club runs on bank holiday Monday 4 May
•**If you want to order any club kit in time for the event (subject to availability) then the last date for orders to be received with payment is Monday 20 April http://www.redwayrunners.com/shop/

New Daytime Beginners group

Not long now till our next free daytime beginners course with Doug (course number.25) starting on the 20 April 2015 on Mondays at 10:30 (first week 10:15) with the group graduating at the MK 5K parkrun on 27 June 2015

You need to book and full details are at:
http://www.redwayrunners.com/train/beginners/

Please do pass on this information with anyone interested in starting running or coming back to running.