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Thursday 12th April MARATHON 90

13-April-2012 11:05
in General
by Admin

12th April - Day 90!. We are coming home!

Not a bad nights sleep, normal pains waking me every now and again. Set alarm for 7:30! No need to get up earlier but my body is now in a routine and I woke anyway. Nice to just lay there though and dose thinking about meeting my girls later on the boat! I try not to think about home too much or mention my family, it is much harder to cope if I do. I will see them briefly today then they go home and I get on with the job! Up at 7:20, could not wait for alarm! Overdue oblutions complete, out to the van to get morning running kit, back, changed and out for a run at 7:50. Ran through the high street, not the prettiest village I have run through! A lot of people hanging around the square, a few shops and only a few of them open. I ran past the Boulangerie, always nice. Turned at 1k and jogged back. Just over 2k, knees killing and left foot still very uncomfortable with my little, little toe! Lovely shower, quick change and into the forge for breakfast. The fire was roaring, with the table closest set out with fresh baked bread, croissants, orange juice, tea and coffee. We had a great breakfast, porridge included, and reminisced over the last 90 days with the odd war story thrown in! Back to the room, planned route to Calais, not as easy as you would think when you cannot go on motorways! Quick chill for an hour, up at 11:00 to start preparing for the off. I am a bit concerned about the boat process! I planned to do 14k to the boat, 14k on the boat and 14k in England, but its looks as if I will get a bit of a delay getting on the boat and it is possible over 2 hours on it! I might finish the distance and not get out of the port in dover! All packed, paid Franky from Le Forge, thanked him for his hospitality and left at 12:50. We drove a mile outside Guines, pulled over, the sun came out and the skys cleared. I did my final preparations, quick last video in France taken, dad did it in one take and it was turned on, we are getting to grips with things now! and set off at just gone 1pm. We could not tell exactly how far it was to the ferry terminal due to the only destination we could get in sat nav was Dover, that would get us to the Calais terminal! I assumed it was about 7 miles, approx 12k. I had a lovely warm run, dad lead perfectly through to the Car Ferry Port entrance, which was not easy. My legs felt ok, I did not push the pace, still protecting my right thigh. All good we approached the Passport and car check in, that's where things changed! They would not let me go through with the van as I was running! They were very nice and said I had to go through and get a ticket from the P&O ticket office now! It is located in a porta cabin due to works being carried out on the Terminal building! All still ok, plenty of time, so off I went back out of the Port took the next entrance on the left and ran towards the foot passenger Porta Cabin outside the terminal. Got inside and went to the first lady of two working the counter. I chose wrong! She was not too helpful, I explained what had just happened, told her P&O were sponsoring the trip and I just needed a ticket to get on the boat as soon as possible as the P&0 PR and official camera man were waiting for me to run up the car entrance ramp. She replied "No" and looked passed me to the people behind! I explained again, a touch more forcefully and she finally made a call to her superiors, which with her attitude I assume were many and would stay that way! She proceeded to have an argument half in her native French and half in English, time was passing! She eventually got off the phone and in a slightly more polite tone told me that if they do not put it on the system, how is she supposed to know! My phone was non stop with a lot of panicky people on board worried I would not make it! I rushed through passport check, met up with Lucy a photographer from a national paper and we were both ushered through to the car ramp leading to the boat! I do not think Lucy thought that when she was instructed to do this job that she would be running as well! We both ran up the ramp with Lucy taking pictures as we went, a bit strange but good exposure if it does get to print? We have been here before! All good, on the boat, up the many stairs and to the waiting family, a bit emotional, and on to the tread mill that was all set up! Everyone relieved, P&O crew were brilliant on board, apologised for the mix up and could not be more accommodating with our, or rather the photographers requests. I set off at a nice pace, sat nav watch now off after completing 16k. India, Jemima, karen, Mum and Lorraine worked the buckets and I bobbed along, Dad and Mum sat together and did not stop talking! Quick loo stop carried out, a lot of well wishers came over for a chat with the team and me, which surprisingly was ok! My cardio is very good so I can talk and run, its my legs that are slowly falling apart! A group of lads from the Royal Air Force came over, all donated, a few looked a bit hungover and all interested in the challenge. They were returning from a football tournament in Holland which they won, well done lads. Lots of photos taken, money collected and very importantly, more awareness gained! I stopped running a bit early to go with the Captain, the official P&O photographer and Lucy up to the top of the boat for some shots of the Cliffs as we approached. Absolutely freezing! A lot of photos taken, standing facing here there and everywhere and running in all directions! All finished, my legs had seized up and I still had 12k to run in England! Back to the Life Fitness tread mill now nearly packed up along with our display and we were ready to go. No dad! Last seen heading down the stairs, we all assumed he would wait in the van for everyone to leave at once? No! I stayed with the P&O crew and Lucy so photos could be taken of me leaving the boat. All done and a massive thank you to P&O and all their very helpful staff and one not so helpful French lady in the Foot Passenger Arrivals Office! Now off the boat, all our team assembled outside the Port, I was walking out to meet them with Lucy talking about shots to be done on the last part of today's very disjointed but enjoyable marathon, when I spotted the van about to disappear out of the port! I called stopped dad and jumped in and drove to meet the others, disaster averted! It started to rain, my legs were stiff and I did not fancy running the final 12k at all! Anyway all parked in the port short term drop off car park, plan set out for the journey to the Premier Inn only a few miles away for the team and dad to lead me out of Dover, past the accommodation and to complete the run. I ran left towards dover, dad followed and got stopped by the police instantly! The exit signs and sat nav told him to turn right and follow the one way system, dad still caught up in the emotion of seeing everyone and the event on the boat, turned left! I ran back, dad reversed and I ran round the one way and dad followed! He came along side me with his window open, speaking on hands free, to his brother. I tried to get a clue of his intentions but dad said he called me and he shot off! I assumed to a lay-by or a visible stop? No! I ran alone through Dover and out on the A20 duel carriageway and up the very steep, very long and very busy road up out towards Folkestone! It was horrible, the road, the weather, everything, I definitely came down to earth with a bump from the high of 20 minutes previous! I came off the first junction, could not get hold of dad so rang Paul and half way through my phone went to SOS calls only! I thought enough info had been passed so I cracked on. Nearly in Folkestone I completed Marathon 90! Still no sign so I turned and ran back towards the A20. Now starting to panic a bit, if I stopped I would get very cold very quick, if I kept going my legs would break up even more! Two phone boxes vandalised I headed for a shop I passed. Outside the shop was our car, inside the shop was my family getting ice! Result, we headed to the Premier Inn, rang dad and Paul to tell them I had been rescued, all good. Dad and Paul did not get back for a further 45 minutes with dad looking dreadful! The event of the day and the panic at the end finished him off! Quick shower, nice meal with everyone, family left to go home, felt very low, Paul stayed to sort out my laptop, 5 minute job, he left at 12:15 to drive home! What a day!

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