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My London Marathon experience
By Sarah Allen - 17 April 2014
Running the London Marathon has always been on my bucket list of crazy things to do in life, so when the opportunity came up for me to register for this year's event, I plucked up the courage and registered. Although I must confess, I thought I wouldn't get a place but I was very, very wrong!
Children with Cancer UK was my charity of choice and I was also running in support of a family friends' daughter, aged 10, who was sadly diagnosed with the illness which effects approximately 1,600 children in the UK every year.
The training itself is the hardest part of the process as you can't just 'wing it' like you might be able to with a 5k or 10k, so I spent most weekends running 16-20 miles around Lancashire like it was just a casual run around the park.
When signing up to a marathon you don't think about the things you will have to sacrifice such as your social life, love of wine, the ability to walk into work without hobbling, having nice feet and enjoying carbs (instead of having to eat them every single day), but what you experience on the day makes it all worthwhile.
With it being Mo Farah's marathon debut this year, 175,000 spectators turned up to watch the event and the atmosphere was electric. You see so many people in the crowd and high five so many children that the whole thing becomes a bit of a blur, but a rather painful one at that.
The weather on the day was magnificent too, but I'd say that made it all the more difficult for the runners for fear of overheating. I also became distracted by the many mobile barbeques that people had set up at the side of the road. I have never wanted a burger so much in my whole life!
I also decided to write my name on my vest for the race and for the first time ever I felt like I was Beyonce as everyone seemed to be cheering my name and willing me on.
During a marathon you also do silly things that are a little out of character. For instance, I willingly let a fireman hose me down mid race because everyone else was doing it and I also waved at the TV cameras in the way that a 5-year-old child would.
If you have been thinking about doing a marathon for a while I would definitely say go for it! The experience is unlike any other and it's a great way to raise money for a good cause, especially if it's one that's close to your heart. In the end I raised more than £2,000 for Children with Cancer UK and the whole event was an experience I'll remember forever.
They say that once you have run one marathon you will want to run many more but for now I'm hanging up my running shoes and leaving the next one to another member of the TWA team!