Yup, it’s time for the blog covering the last few days, which have been more than a little bit hectic. It’s safe to say this is going to be a long post. I’ve got stuff dating back to Friday to post, but it’s safe to say I am going to start with LONDON!! It was of course Marathon weekend, and my first time taking part in the big one in London since 2008. I’m not going to lie, it was tough, I was pretty sick during the second half of the race, and couldn’t seem to hydrate (MASSIVE thank you to St John’s Ambulance for their awesome support) and I finished in 7.19.26 It’s light affected and on my camera phone, but there’s the pic taken moments after I crossed the line.
What a feeling! Another Major Marathon Medal in the bag. I’ll say here and now the support from the CWC UK team was amazing, you’re all awesome in every way… from the support points on the course, to carrying my bags from finish line to the reception to having Ribena and a shepherd’s pie on hand for me to munch. Awesome.
Here’s me in the build up to the race, in a snap courtesy of BBC 1 who broadcast me live (unaware) to the nation. Please note, I am focused, not worried
The events in Boston played a big role on race day, and the thirty second silence was impeccably observed by tens of thousands of runners and fans. It was spine tingling. Every step every runner took was for those who can’t any more. They caught the second bomber during the night I was travelling down to London, and I’m delighted, time to throw away the key! Boston, we all ran for you guys, we’re with you every step of the way.
I had not planned to do sponsorship as such for this race, but enough people have asked me in the last couple of days that I will be setting up an online page tomorrow to allow anyone to support me that wants to. Thanks to those who have indicated they will.
Away from the run itself, wow, what a weekend with some awesome items added to the auction pot and some awesome photos as you’ll see coming up. An early arrival in London on Saturday morning and a meet up with fellow runner/collector/fundraiser James (HUGE thanks to James for taking most of the photos you’re about to see!) was followed by a quick journey to BBC HQ to try and grab as many of the morning’s guests as possible. I missed a few I hoped to get, but got some rather awesome items including an a4 doodle from Bill Bailey as seen right, as well as this brilliant pic of me with Bill.
Also among those signing (mostly contributing to the Xmas Card auctions but several contributing to the Olympic Auction. I decided recently to branch out the Olympic auction a little bit and get some big names from other fields to sign some of the mini mascots very kindly given to me by Mr Darth Sharkey, and those to sign this weekend including an Olympic opening ceremony star and two Skyfall cast members, and not just any old cast members either!
First up was the legend that is DAME JUDI DENCH, who was happy to sign a mini “Pride the Lion” and pose for this pic, as was the latest incarnation of “Q”, Ben Whishaw, who signed his with a stunning signature and posed for a pic with me as well.
The final “Pride” signed on the day was from musician Frank Turner who performed with his band during the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. He was performing as part of “Record Store Day” in London as we managed to time it just right to nab him in the temporary back stage area to sign, and he was then kind enough to come to the end of the area to pose for a pic as well. Here’s the photo one of his crew took for me with his signed “Pride”. I’ve got to say he was awesome with us, and I was chuffed to add him to the Olympic auction.
Earlier in the day some of the other awesome people to sign for the auctions included half of Blue (I did see them all, but with two running late there was no chance of success there), Julian Clary, Gaby Roslin, and Sophie Kinsella.
The dash to the heart of theatreland also allowed a chance for an extra Dr Who signed item from Suranne Jones, who after a comical moment of misunderstanding signed a massive white card with her best known Dr Who quote… “I think you call me ‘sexy’” and added her character name as well before posing for this photo.
From there it was off to the Expo via nabbing Frank Turner, and some of the traditional start of event photos including this one at the Children with Cancer UK stand. Runner no37220 come on down! We bumped into Tony Audenshaw of Emmerdale fame at the Expo and then a surprise meeting with Billy Murray (Don Beech in The Bill) in a pub next to the ExCel, I managed a wee photo with him, though didn’t want to bother him to sign items as he was clearly in “private” mode. Still, a photo with the baddest baddie in the history of The Bill… not bad at all.
The final celeb meet of the weekend was on the Sunday, DURING the race, when I took a breather at Tower Bridge and got this photo with 2000 Gold Medal winning Heptathlon star Denise Lewis! I tried to resist getting it, but I just couldn’t!
So there it is, London for a weekend, less A-Z, more M-Q, but still including a thorough tour of the city, some brilliant highs, some hobbling lows, but the smile is still present and the medal is proudly in the collection.
My thanks once again to those who made the marathon possible overall… the staff, the volunteers, the organisers, the emergency services, the charity cheering posts from other causes who willed us on and of course the awesome team at Children with Cancer UK … Ben, Claire, Emily and every other one of you! You made my day what it was!