My Marathon Journey - By Sara Ottley

I did it!!

What an emotional day it turned out to be. After all the months of training and staying focused, the actual event was much harder than I had ever imagined. I stuck to my training plan the whole 14 weeks in the run up and felt totally prepared. My family made the trip from Maidstone to support me and move around the route to keep me motivated.

Running out of Greenwich Park gates and hearing the crowds cheering everyone on was immense. I saw lots of Burn It members which was brilliant, I even popped in to a stranger's house for a wee en-route somewhere in Charlton. As I passed 2 cheering Burn It members, I asked if I could use their toilet, turned out not to be their house. But the guy cheering next to them happily let me in anyway! it made me smile and I was desperate!

12 miles in my left knee suddenly gave way and from that point on I was in "on and off" agony for the next 14 miles. My head was not in a great place, I had to finish and I was not prepared for this type of injury after being injury free through my training.

The next 8 miles went by in a blur if tears and worry about doing long term damage if I carried on. I remember seeing my family 5 times during the race, each time I knew I was getting closer to the finish line and so I was determined not to give up. The atmosphere and support of what seemed like the WHOLE of London was amazing and made the event such an unforgettable experience. I could see how proud my girls were of their Mummy – this is the one thing that actually really stood out to me, how they looked at me like I was "Super Mum!” I didn’t want to let them down, I want to inspire them with everything I do – that’s my job, right?

To cut a long (long) story short…I finally finished in 5 hours 10 mins which, considering I walked a lot due to my knee pain I am really proud of. I also raised £2319 which is fantastic. Its so rewarding running for charity. People keep asking me, will I do another one……probably! I’m very competitive and I would love to get under 4hrs 40 next time.

If you feel inspired to run a marathon, a half, 10k or 5k sign up for it now – a specific date and event will help you commit to your training and the feeling of self achievement is brilliant. I'm still buzzing from the day!
Race for Life Run is back in July. Choose from 5K or 10K and start at Blackheath or Crystal Park. Click here to book.

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