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I have woken up this morning unable to move, and I didn’t even run the bleeding marathon this time ha ha…but what a weekend!!

The Virgin Money London Marathon weekend is not just about the actual 26.2 mile race that takes place Sunday morning, in the running world its the build up, the expo, the running awards that make it such an incredible weekend and then the race is kind of just the finale to what is an exhilarating yet exhausting weekend of running related shenanigans.

I made the decision in the Autumn last year that I would not run a spring marathon as I simply can’t fit the training in at the moment as things are so manic behind the scenes, but it didn’t stop me recruiting women from The Clubhouse my online running club to take part…and 15 ladies bravely took me up on that offer.

I decided that I would have a year out and instead man a cheering station along the route and offer support and jelly babies instead…its just as well really because knowing what I do now there is no way I would have made the start line as its been a crazy few months.

Have I mentioned we are trying to raise 50K at the moment in a crowdfunding campaign?

Anyway.

CgrcS9uW0AAjPe1Friday was the UK Running Awards, which I was really looking forward to after winning last year. I didn’t for a minute think I would win again but I guess there is always a chance, so I bought a new frock and brought my little sis along with me for the night….and low and behold we won.

Thank you to all of you that voted.

Its great to get this kind of recognition in a room full of running brands and figureheads in the sport. A few tears where shed later in the evening, not sure if that was just the emotion of the event or the excess of bubbly flowing my way.

13096230_10154136659070477_9070410079644003555_nSaturday I popped along to the Expo to meet up with the 10 ladies running London. It was very exciting as they had never met each other in real life before. After a few photos and a bit of a pep talk we went our separate ways and I had time to have a nose around the Expo…it was heaving. I have always gone on the Thursday or Friday to avoid the crowds.

I bumped into a few of my followers which was lovely, and lots of folk from the running world congratulating me for winning the award last night…one lady didn’t recognise me out of my blue dress from the night before.

Sunday well it was a pretty early start for me. I had to get to our cheering spot at mile 10 before the road closures set in, I had forgot that the Rotherhide Tunnel was closed so it was a mad dash to get across tower Bridge before that closed at 8am. I made it with a few minutes to spare, and as I parked my car police arrived with a Road Closed sign…phew.

13076720_10154139098775477_3142632936277551760_nI set up our Too Fat to Run banners and then sat in my car for an hour trying to keep warm until the wheelchair athletes came through, by the time the elite women came through I had some company from my TFTR ladies…and thats when the fun began.

We had whistles and horns, and confetti bombs for when our ladies come through but before that we had to deal with the rather serious looking club runners. It wasn’t long though before we started spotting runners we knew and calling random strangers by their name.

The tracking app was playing up so it was difficult knowing where our ladies were on the course. We did have one lady based at home acting as Key TFTR Tracker though and she kept us abreast of where they all were…

13092111_10208837238903392_8894284876453178556_nOne by one they appeared…Emma absolutely flying in the middle of the pack, we didn’t even really have time to say hello or get any pictures. This is her this morning looking incredibly proud of her sub 5 hour debut marathon.

Then the rest of the ladies started coming through and all kinds of celebrations took place. It was hard spotting who our ladies were at first, as lots of ladies were waving at us and telling us they read the blog…we also got some weird looks with people thinking “who are these fat birds making such a racket?”

Including a rather large man who’s tshirt read “I run marathons because I have got more Guts than you”

13082517_10154139099455477_689648202858590200_nJessica and Kath came through, apologies for the reverse picture…they were pretty nifty at this point too. They were both raising money for Ron Pickering Memorial Fund which supports up and coming athletes..we had 4 ladies in total supporting this incredible charity, just one less than last year. I work out that we have raised close to £10,000 so far and hope to have a further 5 places next year (if you fancy one)

Then Sue arrive and didn;t we just know it, sue has to get  the prize for most flamboyant costume and cheering station celebration…and well done for Clubhouse members Lauren and Elinor who made a fab sign for Sue.

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Sarah, Johanna, Kerry, Katherina, Louise, and Charlotte…they all came through…they all got the Too Fat to Run treatment with confetti showering them, multiple cuddles if they wanted them and horns, whistles and screams in their ears…reminding them that they are heroes in our eyes.

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Natalie got a special cheer when she came through, firstly because the tracker had her still at Blackheath and secondly as she is my best mate…and I did get her into this fine mess.

I remember the first ever race we ran together over ten years ago, all she did was complain and ask if she could stop, you can read about it here…its a pretty funny blog post even if I do say so myself.

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We cheered lots of others on too…especially towards the back end and after the sweeper came through. We saw all sorts of costumes, people of all shapes and sizes, raising money for all kinds of good causes.

We handed out all of our sweets, and a pack of crisps to an asian man in full traditional dress simply came over and asked for a pack…we even gave pep talks where we thought they were needed…it was an incredible experience.

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It took me a while to get back home to East London…I clapped some guy raising money for Parkinsons on at mile 10 at almost 4pm…it was going to be a long afternoon for that chap, and even when I did get back home some of my ladies were still out on the remaining few miles of the course, I think we forget just how far 26.2 miles around London is.

But guess what folks….they all bleeding well finished and have the medals and broken bodies to show for it this morning

Charlotte 7.08.56

Emma 4.58.48 EPIC!!!

Jessica 6.23.58

Johanna 6.39.56

Katharina 6.35.56 – She power walked the whole way…how speedy is that?

Kerry 6.55.38

Louise 6.58.14

Natalie 6.44.06

Sarah 6.33.06

Sue 6.07.42

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Do you know what though…the times are irrelevant, these ladies join just 1% of the population that have run a marathon, and do you know within that 1% only 29.7% are women…I wonder out of that how many are plus size…lets just say these 10 women did an incredible job, not just yesterday when it mattered…but in all those training runs that led up to that moment.

Fancy running a marathon in 2017 and joining that 1% club? What you waiting for?

As part of our Voom crowdfunding campaign we are offering two marathon related perks which might interest you

  1. Discounted Clubhouse Membership for £199 for the year – This gives you access to our resources area with all the training sheets, plans, how to guides, webinars, nutrition advice you could ever need, plus monthly mindset themes, challenges, training sessions and coaching from Julie…we think its the best running club in the world…for more info about what the women think click here
  2. Get Marathon Ready Pack for £49 – We will send you a “Am I Ready to Commit” audit, 12 month training plan and a technical t-shirt or vest from our range with free P&P

Please note PayPal doesn’t actually take any money from your accounts until the 23rd May and only if we reach the £50K target…either way please make sure you vote and thank you in advance for all of your support xxxx

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