Tuesday, 24 February 2009

He did it!

We woke at 5.00, bleary eyed (and not a little traumatised after watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button the day before) we washed and dressed, ensured we had everything we needed and left the flat to emerge into the dark quiet streets of Brook Green. I love London early in the morning when the streets are quiet and nobody seems to be around. Shivering a little in the chilly calm morning air we made our way to the tube station but eeek it was closed! By bus it would take too long to get to Victoria and we would miss the train and the race! Suddenly very awake we made our way to the nearest hotel and thank goodness more or less straight away a taxi came along, orange light blazing in the darkness. Panic over we made our way to Clapham (the next stop after Victoria) and even managed to pick up our friends on the way. Perfect.

On the train we all started to flag so energy bars, bananas and water were hastily cosumed by the men and Mrs M and I dreamed of pain au chocolat's and mocha coffees at Brighton Station. I know, a complete chocolate overload but we'd done ever so well getting up so early! At Brighton, coffees and pastries in hand we found the hill down to the sea front. Yes a hill, not a little hill, a big one. This hill was part of the half marathon route and had definitely not been bargained for by the men whose training had consisted of running along the Thames and through central London completly on the flat.... hmmm.

Down on the sea front it was a hub of activity, admirable sporty people pinned numbers to their chests, tied nifty timing devices to their trainers and started warming up. Mrs M and I drank our mochas and ate our pastries...!

*Picture by me*

After some serious limbering up our men joined the throng behind the start line and Mrs M and I made our way along the course to our first cheering post. NB: it is very difficult to spot individuals at these things and it can make you go a bit cross eyed.

Brighton is quite a good route for supporters in that you can link up with the runners at several places as they loop round and round. At 8 miles we saw them again, first up was Mr F who was almost running with the elite athletes and then after a while Mr M appeared and then N! Yay they had made it more than half way. After successfully spotting the three of them we decided we deserved a cup of tea for all our hard work. Tea consumed we meandered around the lovely shopping lanes of Brighton until we spotted a jubilant looking runner with a silver cape and a participants goody bag. Ooops! We couldn't tell the men we'd missed their big finish because we'd been tea drinking and window shopping! As fast as our little legs would carry us we hurried to the finish. We'd missed Mr F by about 20 minutes as he'd come in in a fantastic 1 hour 40. But as Mr M and N passed the finish line we were there to cheer them along as if we'd been there all along - what good supportive ladies! They both completed the half marathon in just over 2 hours which I think is fantastic!

N was raising money for a school in Rwanda which his mother is heavily involved in supporting. They need a dormitary for the children to sleep in and N raised enough money to pay for half of the building work which is just amazing! Well done lovely!


Lilly Jones said...

Well done!

A little goes a long way (the school children shall be blessed) and my husband loves to say "enjoy the journey" so I'm glad you all had fun raising the money.

Some friends and I have been supporting an orphanage in Liberia ever since 2004 when we worked there. I wish you all the best.

- LJ

redframe said...

Aw you make it sound like a wonderful adventure!
Well done N, on completing the marathon and supporting such a worthy cause. It's crazy and sickening and heart breaking that there are still people in the world with such basic needs unmet. I know, I see it every day.

agirl said...

Oh my! I'm breathless just reading about it. I have so much admiration for folks with the will-power to train for such events.

And even better when the outcome isn't just a personal fitness achievement.

The Cwtch said...

Too true. The amount of unmet need in the world is truly phenomenal. It's so wonderful for N and his supporters as they know exactly where the money raised is going to and when the dormitary is built he'll be able to see photos and think that he played a small part in the building of such a vital community resource.

What was so inspirational about watching the run was seeing the different age groups and people of different fitness levels taking part. Increadible. I hope I'm as fit as some of the runners when I'm in my 50's, 60's and 70's!