The London Marathon. Sunday. The hottest on record. 40,000 runners, 100,000 spectators. Team Support Ellie, all members of her wider family, split into manageable units to chase from place to place all over the Marathon route to spot her and cheer her along. Malcolm and I, as the oldest supporters joined up with two year old William and his mum, as Team Slow.
We all had the Tracker App. All the runners had a device on their shoe to report where they were, and how fast they were going in real time. 100,000 users in London, and thousands more beyond ensured the poor overworked app was often on strike, so we often guessed at her whereabouts as we zipped about over London trying to get to a vantage point before she did. WhatsApp messages kept us all in the loop.
We didn’t spot her at the start……
…. but we did spot these rhinos, who amazingly, all completed the circuit.
‘We didn’t manage to spot her at the start.’
‘ We missed her at Greenwich.’
‘Couldn’t see her at Cutty Sark’
‘Never saw her at the Isle of Dogs.’
‘Where was she on the Mall?’
Which was all a bit disappointing for us, and more so for Ellie, who having trained in sleet and frost wasn’t looking forward to running in the temperatures of high summer and must have thought we’d all pushed off to the pub.
But Tom and Alex reported spotting her at the Tower of London, and sent a picture to prove it. Team by team we reported our successes – Team Slow finally saw her only yards before she finished.
She did it. She got her medal. And thanks to many many friends – and quite a few of you – she’s smashed her fundraising target to raise over £6000 towards oesophageal cancer research. She says she’s done her first -and last – marathon.
Daughter Ellie’s London Marathon training is on target: just as well, because the race is now only just over a month away.
She thought a useful test would be to run the Wilmslow Half Marathon along in the next county. Malcolm and I were pressed into service as childminders (for ‘childminders’, read ‘providers of lifts’) and dog walkers.
As we drove over the Pennines to Bolton, the temperature dropped to -2.5 degrees, the windchill factor took it well below that, and the wind swirled something of a blizzard round the car.
The race was still on though. Once we’d arrived in Bolton, we sat around the kitchen table carb-loading (otherwise known as eating cake) and planning strategy. We had a quiet evening, packing Ellie off to bed at 9 o’clock for her before-6.00 a.m.-start.
But in the middle of the night, when Ellie checked on-line, the inevitable had happened. For safety reasons, the run had been cancelled.
So no race, no excitement, no challenge. Ellie and I took Brian-the-dalmation for a long walk in the snow. And that, dear reader, was that.
Very special and heartfelt thanks to those of you who have sponsored Ellie for running the London Marathon. Because of people like you, she has raised nearly 150% of her target. All the money raised will go towards research into osophageal cancer, a disease that is still little understood compared with better-resourced breast cancer. Thank you. Thank you.