Just before the final 1000m the Spotify playlist I’d made myself for the day must’ve known I needed a bit of help; on came one my most inspiring songs to listen to, Beyoncé’s “I Was Here”. Somehow I managed to keep my emotions together though and take in the incredible sound and sight of the crowds.
But then my phone rang. It was my younger sister, Ciara… “Pops! I’m nearly there, I’ve nearly finished!” I exclaimed, this time trying to keep my emotions at bay but failing. She couldn’t be at the marathon as she had to work a night shift at the hospital but she wanted to be there so much and so called me to spur me on. What amazing timing!
“I know! I’ve been tracking you although it hadn’t updated and so I wasn’t quite sure where you were” she replied, also emotional. We chatted for a bit about how the run had been for me and what she had been up to so far that Sunday. It was so surreal, but so perfect.
As I ran up to the incredible sight of the fountain outside Buckingham Palace, describing everything to Ciara as I went, seeing The Mall was just too much. Lined with Union flags and stands of spectators, the finish line was literally in sight. And so too was the possibility of a sub-5 hour run. My only aims throughout this whole experience were to raise as much money as I could for Mental Health Foundation, raise as much awareness as I could about mental health issues and to simply complete the marathon, whatever happened. To have had what I could only describe as the perfect run (don’t get me wrong, it was horrible, painful and tough!) was beyond anything I could have hoped for.
So with this all in mind, me still on the phone to Ciara, I somehow managed to pick up my pace and charge for the finish line. All I kept saying was “I’m nearly there, I’m nearly there” as Ciara replied “you’re nearly there, you’re nearly there”.
The moment caught on camera as I cross the finish line is me saying to Ciara “I’ve done it. I’ve finished the London Marathon”. I cover my mouth in astonishment. One of the marshals pats me on the back and says “well done Fitz”. I’m still on the phone to Ciara. We both burst in to tears.
As the message a good friend sent me the morning ahead of the marathon said:
pain is temporary, awesomeness lasts forever.
So too do memories and that sense of achievement. The final moment, the whole race and the entire experience of the past few months will stay with me always. All the training, the pain, and even the bad times with my brain have been completely worth it. I’ve proved to myself that given time, a positive can come out of a negative. No one can take this away from me.
Run #34 Rating & Reflection
Achievement = out of this world.
Enjoyment = that’s not the right word for the experience. There simply are no words to describe the run nor the past few months.