After running the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon on behalf of Holiday Inn, Stephen Adjaidoo of the LDN Brunch Club shares his tenth marathon journey.
How was my 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon? In one word: tough. After I badly sprained my ankle a few months before, I had to take two weeks off running completely and I think as a result of that, I had to find a balance between not overdoing it and letting the injury recover, but also trying to still train enough to make the distance on Marathon day. I don’t think I managed to get in enough training/running and so I didn’t feel as strong as I usually would in the marathon. The heat was definitely a contributing factor too.
I think the toughest part was probably knowing how much to drink, given the heat on the day. If the conditions on race day are completely different to the conditions you have trained in, it can be hard to know how to adjust things like hydration and your race nutrition like gels. On the day I drank water at every water station and used the small bottle to try and cool myself down as much as I could.
Without a doubt my favourite part of the Marathon was seeing the great LDN Brunch Club cheer points at 20km and 23mile marks. It was great to see lots of familiar faces at Run Dem Crew’s Mile21 cheer point too. The crowds in general are always great during Virgin Money London Marathon but without those cheer points to look forward to, I’m not sure if I would have continued past 25km. For me the cheer points gave me a shorter distance to aim towards, so I was only thinking about how far the next cheer point was rather than how long of the marathon I still had to go. Once I’d passed the last cheer point at mile 23, there was only 3 miles left and I knew I’d be able to finish.
I ran the first half of the race with Jess and another runner from LDN Brunch Club, both of which were running their first marathons. I wanted to try and support them as I know how difficult it can be. The first half of the race we ran together and that was by far the most enjoyable part of the marathon for me.
After finishing, I regrouped with the LDN Brunch Club cheer squad, refuelled and had a few celebratory beers. Once I got home, I watched the highlights of the race on TV. Since then I’ve had a few light electrical stimulation massages and made sure I’ve been eating enough and drinking lots of water. I’m planning to go for a short run tomorrow, but we’ll see how the legs are feeling!