London Marathon 2016

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Well, where do I even start with this post!? Another World Major Marathon ticked off and 26.2 glorious miles around the streets of London shared with some of the most inspirational people I’ve ever had the pleasure of running with!

London, you were truly amazing…but before I get in to all of that, here’s a little run down of my entire race weekend.

Friday night was spent doing the essential final preparations, packing, updating my Ipod and ensuring I had a lovely, even fake tan glow – ha! I hit the hay early Friday night as I was up pretty early Saturday morning to have my hair done…priorities!

I arrived in London just after 1pm on Saturday and headed straight to the expo at the Excel centre. This is when the excitement really started to kick in! Signing the wall was such a surreal moment and it hit me that this was the LONDON MARATHON;  people enter the ballot year after year and are unsuccessful, and here I was about to run it – I felt very lucky to say the least.

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After strolling around the expo my feet were starting to hurt, not to mention I was hungry and bordering on grumpy! With that in mind, we headed to our hotel in Peckham (oh hey Del Boy!) and then got an Uber to Vapianos (my favourite place!) for ALL of the carbs and all of the chocolate pudding.

Saturday evening was pretty uneventful after that. I had a final pre-race debrief with my friend Liv who was also running, (her first marathon!) and we arranged for me to go to hers (also in Peckham) Sunday morning so we could eat and then travel down to the start line together.

Me and Liv post race - VICTORY!

Me and Liv post race – VICTORY!

I barely slept on Saturday night but it was nothing a coffee couldn’t sort on Sunday morning. 7am was when I started to get stressed about getting taped up and getting to Livs house in time so that I could eat! We actually got to the start line in good time and after queuing for the loo it was time for some photos and a quick warm-up before heading to our separate start pens.

I was actually really surprised that when the gun went off at 10am I was over the line by 2 minutes past! I was a bit worried as the first few miles were spent trying not to trip over people and were slower than what I was aiming for – although really I’d only just decided on a whim and positive encouragement to try and average 7.45min/mi! The race soon thinned out though and it was time to take it all in!

The first 10 miles seemed to fly by and everything felt comfortable. Despite the fact I was comfortably hitting under 7.45min/miles I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep it up for the whole way round, but part of me thought what the hell, throw everything you’ve got at it!

My support crew were at mile 9 and 14 but I never spotted them which was a bit disheartening, but I just kept on turning the legs and ticking off the miles. At about mile 18 I thought the race was never going to end and I knew I’d be in for a tough fight from mile 20.

At mile 20.5 I saw the team and started to cry and shouted “I’m done” at them…nothing like being dramatic hey Han! Had I ran over to high five them though, I’d have genuinely found it hard to get going again! Thankfully, I’d spotted Faye (who I follow on Instagram and who had run Boston on Monday) and we’d been back and forth in front and behind each other for the whole way round. I knew she was a strong runner and was faster than me so I decided to try and stick with her.

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Faye, along with the beautiful folk of London cheering on the masses, is what got me through those last six miles. Turning the corner and onto the mall was surreal and I knew I’d managed a PB. I crossed the line in 3.25.05 and promptly hugged Faye. What a run. A PB at London…London! It’s still sinking in to be honest. My training was average at best and I battled through more mental struggles during this marathon training than any of the previous ones, but I’m so pleased with that run. London, you were truly amazing.

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For now though, it’s time to rest, eat and enjoy some time training without the pressures of a marathon. It’s also back to the drawing board to get some autumn goals nailed down…watch this space.

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Raising money for Breast Cancer Care UK

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A slightly different post today but it’s a pretty important one! As you’ve probably guessed from the title, I’ve decided to do some fundraising.

I’m currently training for April’s London Marathon and have decided to support a charity in the process. London will be my fourth marathon after I was lucky enough to secure myself a good for age place thanks to my performance in the Manchester marathon last year. I’m so excited to tick off another of the marathon world major’s and be part of such an iconic race.

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It was quite difficult choosing a charity to raise money for as there are so many amazing causes and organisations out there. However, the choice was made easy when my dad suggested raising money for Breast Cancer Care UK.

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My dad has worked in the breast cancer field for over 30 years now and has helped thousands of women. He also did his PhD research on breast cancer while he was training in Australia, so needless to say it’s a cause close to his heart.

Every year, approximately 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast Cancer Care is there to provide help and support to each and every one of those women, including their friends and family.

The money I hope to raise while training for the London Marathon will help Breast Cancer Care to provide vital support services including running their helpline and online forum.

Breast Cancer Care also provides information points in hospitals as well as face to face services for anyone with breast cancer, as well as their family and friends.

Training for a marathon isn’t easy and even though this will be my fourth, in my opinion the training doesn’t get any easier! I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it though, and I’m prepared to make the necessary sacrifices over the next four months in order to get my training done so that I can put in a good performance and hopefully raise lots of money in the process!

My dad has given so much through his work and I’d love it if I could give something back through my fundraising and running.

I’d be so grateful for any donation, even if it’s just £1! To borrow the popular Tesco phrase, every little helps!

If you’d like to donate I’d be forever grateful and it’s safe to say that it’s going to a fantastic cause. Please visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/HannahsHappyPace to donate.

I promise to train hard and run as fast as I can on April 24! If you live in London/will be there on marathon day, please look out for me and give me a big cheer! 😀

As always, you can follow my marathon journey here on Hannah’s Happy Pace, or on Instagram or Twitter.

Thank you,
Hannah

🙂