26.2 cold and soggy miles, over £2,500 raised for South London Special League.
One of the most challenging things I have ever done…
I spent much of Friday afternoon staring apprehensively out of the window at the rain pouring down relentlessly. Visions of me twisting my ankle in Oxleas Woods led to a rapid rethink of my planned route. The carefully mapped out circular route via the Green Chain and Oxleas Woods seemed a wonderful idea on a crisp Autumnal day, less so during a downpour.
First loop – Westcombe Park, Blackheath, Lewisham Way to Cator Park and back – 14 miles
The only other people I saw out that day were bedraggled dog walkers and other marathon runners, easily identifable even if their numbers weren’t visible under their wet weather gear by the look of stoic determination. As we passed each other, we high-fived and continued our unique journeys towards the magic 26.2 miles, step by wet and soggy step.
Second Loop – Westcombe Park, Thames Path to Rotherhithe and back – 12 miles
Final 6 miles – run a couple of steps, walk a couple of steps to a landmark a little in the distance. A car, a statue, a lampost. Wince, walk, swear, run repeat…
My neighbours saw me run out and were following me on the Virgin Marathon app. They were waiting for me to stagger back round the corner. I’d miscalculated the final 0.2 miles which meant I’d finished at the bottom of the hill instead of at the top. I very nearly flagged down a bus to take me that final bit.
Once Lockdown is over, South London Special League are going to spend the money we raised to provide tennis on Friday morning in Greenwich Park.
Sunday October 3rd 2021 will be my second London Marathon. I’ll be running once more for South London Special League, helping raise money for Friday Morning tennis in Greenwich Park. I’m looking forward to watching the sessions and the players develop over the year and will provide an update here.