After heading down to London on the Saturday my first stop was the VLM Expo at the Excel centre. The main reason for attending was to pick up my race pack which included my number, timing chip and final instructions for race day. The Expo had been open since Wednesday but the Saturday was always their busiest day, with over half of the 40,000 runners expected. Despite the big crowds everything was really well organised and I joined a relatively small queue and received my pack within a few minutes.
As I moved into the main hall I could really feel the buzz and excitement of the other runners, as well as plenty of nervous and anxious ones. The main hall itself was very busy and it was a bit of a squash moving through the endless trade stands of running paraphernalia, from running shoe brands through to physio tape, wireless earphones, GPS devices and any other conceivable running gadget. I made my way to the Virgin Money lounge as I new there was some keynote speakers there who would be giving advice about race day. As I listened to an entertaining presentation which showed runners what to expect at each part of race day and the course itself it all began to seem very real, with a mixture of nerves and excitement churning up in my stomach. The obligatory picture next to the VLM logo after the presentation and then it was off to find the Hospice UK stand.
The charity itself had over 100 runners entered into the marathon, each with a story and their own special reason for running. It was great to see Nicola and Sarah-Jane from the charity, after meeting them the previous month of the Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon. Another obligatory photo call next to the charity's logo and it was time to leave the expo and head to the hotel.
In order to avoid battling public transport on race day, I chose a hotel which was close to the start. The Greenwich Hotel were ready for the runners with a special evening menu and an early breakfast. A sneaky pint in the bar after dinner set me up for a great night's sleep, waking on race day morning fresh and ready for what lay ahead.
Pre Race Breakfast & Photo call
|The 2015 miles comrades|
meet at last!
At 7:30am I joined the other Hospice UK runners hosted by the charity at the Spanish Galleon pub, Greenwich. This was an opportunity to meet the rest of the 'team', particularly those who had been so active on our Facebook group - I particularly relished the opportunity to meet the legendary Simon Singleton - marathoner extraordinaire! A quick coffee, banana and final kit check and there was just time for a team photo before heading off together to the race start.
|Pre Race Breakfast|