Willow blog

24 hours to go

April 26, 2015

Less than 24 hours before the London Marathon and Carrie Hudson shares her final thoughts. She tells us the key to marathon success (or at least making it to the start line!) is having friends to share it with and a sense of humour: 

“So, here we are at the beginning of the end of all our hard work. Today we are collecting our London Marathon numbers at the expo. It’s been a long journey to get here but now the training is done, it is time to start enjoying ourselves a little bit. 

There are two things that one needs to get ones number: your registration form and photo ID. So when one of our party (not me, honest) had forgotten their registration form, it appeared to be false start when, after pouring the contents of the bag on the floor, revealed no registration form. We sat staring for what felt like eternity until a kindly older man came to our rescue and directed us to the helpdesk.

You’ll be fine… 

‘Just pop over there’ he said, ‘you’ll be fine’. It would seem that the clever people at the helpdesk have a spare copy of everyone’s registration form for just such an occurrence! And breath. We are permitted to proceed.

So, onwards to collect our race numbers. All going well, short queues, excitement building, and very quickly it’s my turn. Three (yes, three) lovely helpful individuals behind the desk take my form, check my ID and produce my race pack with precision professionalism and, before I know it, in my hand is almost all I need to race.

Paul Hodgeson?

The last piece of the puzzle is the timing chip for my shoe. On to the next queue and I present my race pack for scanning by yet another friendly helpful face. 

‘Paul Hodgeson’ he says, I look over my shoulder. After several more quizzical looks at each other and over my shoulder, and agreeing Paul was definitely not there, we discovered I had been given 8122 instead of 9122.

Back for a quick exchange to my rightful number, back again for the chip and in we go to the expo, race pack finally in hand with just a few jangled nerves!

Final thoughts

These last tips round off our marathon journey nicely: spares are always welcome, and check what you collect!

What I already know is that it is immensely more fun to share your training with others. The highs and the lows. The ups and the downs. As true in life as it is in marathon training.

I wonder what we learn on the course on Sunday? Regardless, I will have my marathon buddies to share it with. Life is good and we were ONLY 20 minutes late back to collect the kids from school having missed our train… 

Oh, and finally, good luck everyone (especially Paul!)”

Carrie Hudson, Kim Brewer, Emma Knight, Victoria Tidd and Dawn Andrews, all members of Old Hatfield (Oh) Ladies Running Club will be joining 40,000 runners on the start line of the London Marathon.

With thanks to Zoe Cooper Photography for the photographs at the Willow shop in Welwyn Garden City.