Following the Virgin Money London Marathon, we caught up with some of the LDN Brunch Club team Anna and Veronica who ran on behalf of Holiday Inn and Jessica running her first marathon on behalf of Mind.
How would you describe your marathon?
JJ: My first marathon experience is one I’ll never forget. Firstly, because it was the hottest Virgin Money London Marathon on record; secondly, because it was an emotional rollercoaster and, finally, because it was such an amazing experience from start to finish. I know everyone tells you that running the Virgin Money London Marathon is an experience like no other, but you really don’t understand until you’ve completed it yourself. There were definitely some tough points where I felt like giving up, but it was worth every second once I’d stepped over the finish line.
VJ: Running the Virgin Money London Marathon this year was amazing and the #SpiritOfLondon was evident everywhere on race day! It was particularly challenging due to the hot conditions, but I managed to battle through and beat my personal best by 12 minutes!
The Virgin Money London Marathon this year was a reminder that the fight and ability to dig deep is within all of us. Marathons are a reminder that we are stronger, tougher, and more capable than we could ever believe, and that we are never alone in the pursuit of dreams and goals.
What was your favourite part of the marathon?
AW: The best thing about this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon was the crowd. They were INCREDIBLE from start to finish. It was great to see LDN Brunch Club cheer zone at two points along the route and to have my family and friends dotted along the course to cheer me on. Seeing their faces in the crowd was certainly my favourite part of the day.
JJ: There were a few favourite parts for me. I think really early on, around mile 3 where I was totally sucked in by the atmosphere, high fiving the crowd, enjoying the sunshine and feeling really happy. Then, the highlights have to be the epic LDN Brunch Club cheer points, first at mile 12 which was just as things started getting tough and then at mile 22, when the support from the crew was so very needed. I’m not sure I would have made it to the finish line without their huge cheers and words of support. It was also amazing to see the Mind charity cheer points as they reminded me why I was running and I felt proud to be running for such a great cause.
VJ: My favourite part, aside from crossing the finish line and running with friends at various points along the course, was reaching the LDN Brunch Club cheer station at Mile 23. In that moment, the realisation really hit me, how lucky I am to have an amazing supportive group of friends, and how wonderful the running community is in London. Having fun whilst sharing weekend training runs and the Holiday Inn Rest & Runs with LDN Brunch Club made a world of difference in how mentally prepared I was for the 26.2 miles. Their cheers, high-fives, and confetti canons immensely lifted my spirit and gave me the push I needed to tackle the last few miles! It was also incredibly well timed, as I’d started to fade from the heat at Mile 22, even after adjusting my pace for the first half of the race.
What was the toughest part of the Marathon?
AW: Sunday saw some of the hottest conditions I’ve ever come across – weather better suited for lying on a beach than running 26.2 miles! That made this one of the toughest marathons I’ve ever run and there were plenty of moments where I wanted to stop and hide in the shade. I was careful to keep hydrated, drinking water at every mile, but I was still forced to drop my pace in the last six miles so I could make it safely to the end.
JJ: The hardest part of the marathon, and I think everyone who ran will agree, was the temperature on the day. I struggled with adjusting to the heat, especially after training through a really cold winter with a fair few snowy runs! Around half way I decided to really slow my pace and just try to make it to the finish line without pushing myself too hard, which I knew may result in me feeling ill. However, I feel like this allowed me to enjoy the crowd more again and look out for my friends and family along the way.
What would you have done differently?
JJ: One thing I wish I’d done differently was to print my name on the front of my shirt – I’d definitely recommend this for any first time runners. I underestimated how much the crowd pushes you through the harder times and when people shout your name it makes all the difference!
What did you do to rest and recover following the marathon?
VJ: I made sure to continue drinking plenty of water and booked a sports massage at Function360. In the next week, I’ll add more swimming into my workout schedule while recovering. In the meantime, I’m really excited to figure out what the remainder of my 2018 race schedule will be!
AW: After the marathon, the temptation is to curl up in a ball and sleep for a week! Instead, I took a trip to Edinburgh with my mum for a couple of days walking and sightseeing. Keeping the legs moving with some beautiful scenery was great to stop my muscles seizing up too much. Plus, post marathon blues can get anyone down – so taking a couple of days to do fun things was a great pick-me-up!
VJ: Thank you to Holiday Inn for the opportunity to run the Virgin Money London Marathon and thank you to everyone who cheered and volunteered. Congratulations to everyone who took part and managed to complete the race. It is an incredible achievement and everyone should be very proud.