Raising Money for Teenage Cancer Trust and other worthy causes


Saturday 21st April MARATHON 99

23-April-2012 23:48
in General
by Admin

21st April - Day 99. Struggled to get to sleep last night after I heard that unfortunately we did not make the Mail again! But, Sky Sports want to interview me at 7:15 this morning and when I get to Greenwich, also ITV want to interview me half way to Greenwich and a load of other stuff that I did not take in after I was told about Sky and ITV! Hopefully it all happens and my Challenge and the Framework Foundation get the exposure we desperately need to raise the awareness and get lots of people donating a little bit of money! It has been a great experience, so far, but without raising the funds it will not feel like I would have succeeded! I watched John Bishop on The Graham Norton Show last night, it was great to hear him say about the pain he went through to get his challenge completed and how he had to carry on no matter what, he said, "there was too many people watching so I could not just stop, I would feel such a dick and let too many people down" not on the same scale of people but I know what he felt like! As I have said before, I cannot get a fraction of the exposure a celebrity would, I am just Ordinary People trying to do an extra ordinary thing. Anyway, enough of that, for the first time in 104 nights, I did not sleep in the same room as dad, Heaven! Actually it was not, I struggled to sleep, I must have got used to the rhino snore or listening to dad in bed with Barbara or Katherine and on the odd occasion, Placido! I doubt dad had the same problem! Anyway it felt very strange, but I eventually nodded off and slept through to 5:00. Up feeling a bit funny, not nervous, I think more anxious! I am a bit worried I will not get my breakfast! Showered and back in my room, I got a text from Paul to remind me to charge the CamCorder! A bit late now, dad is the other end of the hotel, he has the keys to the van and the van is not close to the hotel entrance! Anyway, rang and woke dad, asked how he was? Reply, "worst nights sleep ever"! Down for breakfast just gone 6:30. The hotel arranged for the chef to come in early to sort our breakfast! Porridge made, Double poached egg on toast and croissants, spot on! Just about to tuck in when the sky man came in and said that they are all set and ready! Chef said he would leave the table as is and warm whatever we needed when we returned, nice bloke. Up to the towers, very nice part of this very nice country hotel, few instructions and Sky Sports live interview done! Strange, a first but I hope the message got across. Paul and Lorraine turned up with my shirt just in time, also the lads from work turned up just in time for them to stare at me whilst I was being filmed! Great to see them, Lorraine organised Alex, Ingrid and Graham the photographer and also Cheryl Fergison? And Lorraine Chase to meet me at the finish, good work Lorraine. Ed, my oldest friend, the others are way under 40! Who has worked with me for over 20 years, will be running some, hopefully a lot, of the marathon today with me. Alex best is here and has also offered to run some of the way with me, add to that, Ingrid Tarrant came on her beautiful horse, 1 1/2 hour journey! Thank you both so much for all your support. Back to breakfast, now 7:50, all cold! Quick zap of the porridge and the rest was eaten cold! All done, kitted up, packed and loaded the van and ready to start running at 9:10, very late! Fortunately ITV were running a bit late so we set off to our start point. Ed and me set off following dad and Rob in the van. Dad was a bit concerned about running through south London so he was pleased to have company. Dad was also very pleased that Rob went wrong very quickly and quite a few times in the first few miles! We eventually found Beddington Park, the 3 mile journey turning into 6 miles! Ed and I had a good, quite quick and enjoyable first 10k, I had quite a few stabbing pains in my right knee and hip that caused the odd collapse of my leg and quick shrill of pain to be shouted! Ed asked if I was ok? I said this happens quite a lot and yes, I was ok! The camera man re arranged the van as we approached, positioned himself in the back with the door open. We proceeded towards Greenwich at 7.5 miles per hour holding up all the traffic whilst the interviewer ran along side me doing an interview. Not sure the other road users appreciated it too much! They filmed for a while then left us to carry on. I ran on my own for a while following the van then Ed re joined me. I did not realise that Ed, Alex Best and Sam, Alan from Amber Signs wife, had been running a little way behind me! I would have slowed and run with them if I had of realised! Ed stayed with me to nearly half way, very much appreciated, Alan from Amber Signs joined us for about 5k, thank you Alan and keep the running up, Framework Foundation's team still has a good few places to fill for the Watford 10k on May 7th if you are interested? I then pushed on through the very busy streets of South London, the van struggling to stop due to the congestion and the Red Routes! A bit tricky at times, a few close calls with London Buses, especially the 109! By the way it is quicker to get across London running than it is by car! I ran to Elephant and Castle then back down the A2 to New Cross and through to Blackheath and Greenwich Park. Paul and Lorraine had gone ahead to organise a finishing point in Greenwich Park. I eventually arrived at the park entrance facing Blackheath to find a Virgin finish line had been set up, ITV reporter and camera crew, the Virgin official photographer, one of the main organisers of the VLM, very nice man, Lorraine Chase, Sheryl Ferguson, Alex Best, Alice Watts, who worked so hard for the Teenage Cancer Trust to get my challenge underway, Simon Davis the CE0 off Teenage Cancer Trust and a whole host of friends and work colleagues were there! Shocked, stunned and very emotional I completed marathon 99 in 3'48"40. This moment has been my focus for so long, the finish of 99 got to me a bit so I huffed and puffed for a few seconds with my hands on my knees to buy me time to compose myself. All good, great to see everyone, interview with ITV, loads of photos taken, quick hug with dad, very emotional, our adventure and journey together was over, tomorrow I was to be on my own with forty thousand other runners and dad was to be a spectator with our family and friends! Alice Watts was the first person I met at Teenage Cancer Trust. At our first meeting Alice politely took down all the details of my proposed challenge and at the end said "are you really going to attempt this" I felt as I must have looked, an out of shape middle aged man! I replied, "yes, I am not only going to attempt it, I am going to do it" I walked to Alice, gave her a hug and said "I told you I would do it!" More photos taken of everyone and a quick live phone interview done with Luton Radio. A very memorable and "best ever" after marathon feeling so far! Had a long catch up with everyone. Sarah and Mark Markley were there with their daughter. Sarah, who I have not seen for 30 years! Has worked very hard to promote our challenge and Charity through Cavendish School where she now works, raising lots of money, which was nice. It was great to see you again and thanks to you and Mark for all your support along the way.  Anyway all photo'd and talked out dad and I got back in the van and made our way to the hotel to meet our family. Eventually we arrived, both of us mentally and physically knackered! Great to see my girls again and this time I can focus on them and not my challenge! Lovely soak in a hot bath and I felt much better. The hotel unfortunately had a function on so the restaurant was closed! Our friends also came up and stayed in the hotel so we all went to a nearby Italian for some Pasta. A bit slow service but very nice Pizza to start followed by spaghetti and meat balls, all good fuel! We returned to the hotel to meet our friends, Alan, Wendy and Jamie Gullan, who have come down from Scotland to support me, and watch the Arsenal v Chelsea game! Great to see them, we chatted for far too long and returned to our room at gone midnight! Worth it though! I am not feeling nervous about tomorrow, I know I can run the distance, I know what pain I will have to endure but I am very worried some part of my legs will break down and I will not be able to run the 100th marathon correctly! I did my preparation as normal, right hip and knee are my biggest concerns for tomorrow, went to bed just before 1am, far too late! An absolutely fantastic day, I feel I have achieved something very special with my dad, whatever happens tomorrow I know I will get round and complete my challenge. I will however do my best to get round as quick as I can! Marathon 99 chalked up! A Very Big Day Tomorrow!  

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