Marathon, done. Mara-done.

26.2 miles, 4 hours 45 minutes 1 second. bloody hell, it was so hard, but so amazing.

As is usual Mann family tradition Becca and I got dropped off laughably early and were at the start on Blackheath Common by about 7.45am! The atmosphere even then was pretty immense and even pretty heavy rain didn’t seem to be able to do anything to stop everyone (especially me) getting very, very excited.

The start was a bit hectic, but i suppose that was always going to be the case with however many thousand people squeezing through a relatively small space. I took it pretty easy from the start, I think if I had been too worried about concentrating on a particular time then it could have got a bit frustrating but I spent my time toodling along and had a bit of a chat with a man dressed as a morris dancer (lots of bells!), high-fived lots of enthusiastic kids and had the biggest grin on my face.

On tv the crowds always look big, when you’re there the crowds sound loud but when you’re running – at points it’s almost overwhelming, there are so many people shouting encouragement, loads of bands, people handing out sweets, oranges and drinks. It’s absolutely amazing.

I felt absolutely fine until about 21-22 miles, I’d been plodding along, doing about 10 minute miles (which was slightly slower than planned but I thought I’d just enjoy the day rather than worry about my time too much) and suddenly it all went a bit wrong, I got cramp in my left thigh, my right hip seized up and everything stopped being brilliant and fun for a couple of miles. Luckily the crowd got me going again – having your name on your vest really helps at times like this! Massive thanks to the lovely bunch of people down on the enbankment who fed me jelly babies and high-fived me until I started running again.

When I finished I was absolutely destroyed, I couldn’t walk in a straight line, I didn’t know what was going on. It took me about 45 minutes to walk to where I was meeting Becca, near Charing Cross – which probably less than 1/2 a mile from the finish!

Now, 2 days afterwards, my body is sore – my toes and hips are still very painful.

The ballot for next year opens on 4 May (next week). Will I be entering? Try and stop me!

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