“Join us for our 2019 London Marathon Training Day!”  

…read the email from Barnardo’s that I received last week.

So, on Friday 1st Feb I’m travelling down to London thinking this had better be worth it.

Overnight it had snowed and it plummeted to a low of -6C in Battersea.  A 6 am alarm on a Saturday just to stand outdoors with near strangers was becoming less appealing with each falling snowflake.

Fortunately, it was totally worth it.

I met the other people running for Barnardo’s, and we gelled very quickly. There is an eclectic mix of experienced marathoners – one of whom lost 5 stone and now keeps running marathons for fear of ever becoming overweight again) – some competent runners yet marathon virgins (me) and some very brave novices, including  Grandma Pauline ticking off her bucket list. team barnardos

As well as Barnardo’s support staff, 3 special faces were there on the day;

Olympic champion Daley Thompson who was humorous and charming, ‘Snowy’ Clifford Brooks who, at 75, can outpace any of us and swing his legs impossibly high in warm-up demonstrations, and TV Presenter Floella Benjamin Vice President of Barnardo’s who ran the London Marathon 10 consecutive years starting in 1999 when she turned 50.  Floella told us everything nobody likes to talk about, from mental battles and physical pain barriers to bleeding nipples, losing toenails and imaginative yet necessary uses of Vaseline.  I left on a high feeling a touch of magic about the big day to come and the sense of family amongst the runners and support team.

The following day I participated in the famous MADDOG 10k ON Southport waterfront (Awarded Best National UK 10K in 2018) where I managed to hammer my PB from 1:06 to 58:50, partly down to excellent advice from the Barnardo’s team and also due to being so bitterly cold I needed to sprint to prevent icicles forming and just wanted to get it over with!  Very happy to have achieved a sub 60 minute 10K.

Check out the video below of me and Daley warming up! Please also take a look at my marathon funding page

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