Club news

My VLM story!!

April 30, 2015 by redwayrunners
Frontpage Article, Headlines, Press Releases

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


January 2024 (5)February 2024 (2)March 2024 (5)April 2024 (4)May 2024 (1)June 2024 (5)July 2024 (4)
January 2023 (6)February 2023 (4)March 2023 (4)April 2023 (6)May 2023 (7)June 2023 (6)July 2023 (4)August 2023 (5)September 2023 (6)October 2023 (4)November 2023 (6)December 2023 (4)
January 2022 (7)February 2022 (4)March 2022 (4)April 2022 (5)May 2022 (7)June 2022 (5)July 2022 (4)August 2022 (5)September 2022 (7)October 2022 (7)November 2022 (4)December 2022 (6)
January 2021 (2)February 2021 (6)March 2021 (6)April 2021 (4)May 2021 (5)June 2021 (6)July 2021 (5)August 2021 (3)September 2021 (3)October 2021 (5)November 2021 (3)December 2021 (7)
January 2020 (4)February 2020 (1)March 2020 (8)April 2020 (15)May 2020 (11)June 2020 (7)July 2020 (5)August 2020 (2)September 2020 (1)October 2020 (3)November 2020 (3)December 2020 (6)
January 2019 (3)February 2019 (1)March 2019 (4)April 2019 (5)May 2019 (2)June 2019 (2)July 2019 (4)August 2019 (4)September 2019 (3)October 2019 (5)November 2019 (3)December 2019 (5)
January 2018 (5)February 2018 (1)March 2018 (6)April 2018 (5)May 2018 (4)June 2018 (6)July 2018 (5)August 2018 (7)September 2018 (6)October 2018 (8)November 2018 (5)December 2018 (3)
January 2017 (7)February 2017 (5)March 2017 (6)April 2017 (3)May 2017 (4)June 2017 (6)July 2017 (8)August 2017 (6)September 2017 (4)October 2017 (8)November 2017 (5)December 2017 (9)
January 2016 (5)February 2016 (1)March 2016 (6)April 2016 (7)May 2016 (1)June 2016 (5)July 2016 (9)August 2016 (11)September 2016 (8)October 2016 (6)November 2016 (9)December 2016 (6)
January 2015 (6)February 2015 (4)March 2015 (2)April 2015 (12)May 2015 (5)June 2015 (1)July 2015 (5)September 2015 (6)October 2015 (6)November 2015 (7)December 2015 (7)
May 2014 (2)June 2014 (4)July 2014 (2)August 2014 (7)September 2014 (9)October 2014 (4)November 2014 (14)December 2014 (7)