The big day for Reenie and the culmination of around five months of training and five years of trying to enter. We were all super proud of her.
Reenie got up early as she had to be at the start for 9am in Greenwich and it would take a half hour trip on the DLR and a 20 minute walk to get there. So we said our good byes as she left about 7.30am and got some more rest before our day started in earnest.
We headed down to breakfast for about 9am and after watched the start of the fun runners at 10am before leaving the hotel and packing the car up. I had selected a spot on the Isle of Dogs for us to watch the marathon. It was quieter than a lot of areas, was only a short trip on the tube and we would be close to an Asda for food, drink and toilets. There was also a large city farm called Mudchute Farm that I thought would prove handy if the littlies got bored.
We arrived a little after 11am at the spot just in time to see the elite Men pass and the British blade runner Richard Whitehead. The latter is a 200m runner and we had seen him on the TV that morning. He was thoroughly enjoying the day as he ran down the round to the applause of the crowd. The atmosphere was already building up and by midday there was a steady stream of runners now passing.
We were at the Mile 17 mark so by my calculations I felt we wouldn’t see Reenie until about 2 to 2.30pm based on a slower pass and the crowds. How wrong I was. I could track Reenies location using the Find My Friends app and comparing it to the route could see she was setting a good early pace. My main concern for the day aside from Reenie completing the race in a healthy and safe fashion was the littlies. I hoped they would enjoy the day and not get bored or tired too quickly. Again I had mis judged them! They loved it and really enjoyed clapping and cheering the runners.
It’s watching all these amazing people you realise what a special event it is. I had watched many marathons on the TV over the years but to be standing on the road cheering complete strangers on is quite a humbling experience. There were the usual throng of fancy dress runners which always had a touch of colour to the proceedings. This year as mentioned earlier had many runners openly showing their support for Boston and I am sure any Americans watching on the TV would be moved by the moving show of support from the runners for the runners.
Reenie was getting closer all the time and it was while she was still a little way off that across the road my friend Liam appeared. I am still not sure if its coincidence or he knew somehow where we would be but there he was across the road from us. Reenie was running for Ouch UK that supports people like Liam who suffer with cluster headaches. He had got the train down to show his support for her.
When I had a rough idea when Reenie would be past us I made sure we were all fed, watered and no calls of nature where needed. As I could see her approach on the map I started videoing and have the footage when the littlies and myself saw her. She was in such good spirits and really enjoying it and was so pleased to see us as she has thought she’d missed us. She had to continue and after a quick chat and a hug, she crossed the road to see Liam and was on her way… It was just after 1.30pm.
The plan for us now was to watch some more of the marathon, head back to the hotel, have something to eat and await news of Reenie completing the race. So thats what we did… About 3.45pm I got a call from our next door neighbour Ali that she had just seen her complete the race. The wonders of technology had BBC using their ‘Red’ button channel showing uninterrupted view of the finish line. We even have a photo from a friend of the moment she crossed the line… 🙂
After a little texting and phone calls, Reenie was heading back to us and we met her at Prince Albert DLR. I regret in a way not having got to the finish line but the littlies were tired and hungry and any attempt to meet her with the little ones would not have been helped by the vast numbers of people.
So all safe and sound and back together we hopped into the car and drove home.
Its been a full on weekend for all of us especially Reenie. We are all so proud of her and what she has achieved….an amazing achievement for an amazing wife and mother.
One thing did make us all laugh when we met her….she showed the children her medal and Kieran asked when he saw it…’Did you come first, second or third Mummy?’ Got to love those sorts of insights…