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The London Marathon was too hot for Stuart Overhill but he found the warmth of camaraderie got him to the finish

Back in October I received the dreaded rejection email from the organisers of London and I thought ‘thats okay’ as I was running Brighton anyway! In November I submitted my rejection email into the SJ Marathon draw. On the day of the draw I received a text from Graham Robinson telling me I had some good news. This news was not that I had won the Lotto, but that I had a place in the 2018 London Marathon.
Training through the winter went well but the night before Brighton, sickness hit our household and like Lisa I didn’t make it to the start line. I remained unwell until Wednesday and almost pulled out of London, I managed to run Wednesday and Thursday and I thought ‘lets do this’.
Expo was rubbish, Lisa and I were in and out in about 20 minutes and back on the cable car to the 02, to the car and home. I can highly recommend a trip on the cable car across the Thames, by the way.
Onto the day of the Marathon, I was woken up by Lisa and told we needed to be at the bus by 6:15, so I rushed around and made it, only to be told that it actually goes at 6:30. I was not impressed! We arrived in Greenwich and I said goodbye to Lisa and Lucy, we had a couple of quick photo’s and I went to the blue start. I met a couple of friends in there who were giving out water and settled into the routine of toilet, toilet, toilet, baggage and start.
Stuart vlm.jpeg
I decided I would run London how I was going to run Brighton… until I overheat. I tend to really suffer in warm temperatures and have almost collapsed at other events. First mile went, then I needed the toilet, quick pit-stop and I was off again. I saw Fiona and Paula and then next thing I knew I was at 10 miles and I was roasting hot. I slowed up and went over tower bridge and followed the route. On the other side of the road I saw Kipchoge and Farah. I then hit mile 14 and I had had enough, just couldn’t cool down. I walked a bit, poured a bottle of water over my head and started running again, a lot slower. Earlier in the race I passed Paul Biggs and I thought at any point he would catch me up and he did.
It was great to see a friendly face and we agreed that we would run the rest of the marathon together as we were both so hot, this consisted of running to each water station, walking through the station and ensuring we were covered in water. We were joined by another runner and this is what we did until about mile 21. At this point we looked to our left and saw thousands of runners making there way to the Canery Wharf section and thought thank god thats not us.
Paul and I carried on with our run to the water station plan and we worked out if we did this we would easily be under 4 hours, which in those conditions we would both be happy with. From mile 24 onwards we didn’t walk, but just kept the pace up and we discussed whether or not we should re-create the famous scene at last years marathon when the Swansea Runner helped the struggling Chorlton runner!
We entered the final 1K, which felt like 6 miles… and turned into the home straight, we high fived each other and accelerated towards the finish line and crossed the line with our hands in the air – Brokeback marathon style! It was great to see the SJs at the end and have Tracy Buck give me my medal. I gave her a wet sweaty cuddle in return.
Paul and I collected out baggage and sat down by a tree and Lisa came and joined us. We then all went our separate ways and met again on the train where Alison Jones joined us and kindly gave us a lift back to our car.
Overall, it was too hot and this really affected me but I loved the experience and I am thankful for the club giving me the opportunity to run. I would also like to give a special mention to Lucy who did an amazing time given all she has gone through.
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