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The London Marathon from a Venturer’s perspective.

Venture Mòr's Business Development Manager, Jess, recently ran the London Marathon for Venture Trust! She finished in an incredible 4 hours 28 minutes. Here she tells us about her day (which, by the way, was her birthday too!).

It was so, so exciting! The Applecross Running Team- Gerry (who ran for Prostate Cancer UK), Sarah (who ran for Fight for Sight), and I all started together, which was amazing given that we thought we would never find each other amongst the thousands of other runners. Sarah and I spent the first 13 miles weaving in and out of competitors, feeling really strong, but at mile 19 it started to get harder. The crowd were utterly mind blowing though, and kept me going. On many occasions I looked round to see if I knew the people speaking to me because it felt like they were cheering just me – the shouts of ‘come on Jess, you’re looking strong, you can do it!’ were awesome (although I think they might have said this to everyone looking like they were about to pass out).

My fellow runners were incredible too, many of them running on behalf of a charity close to their own hearts. I passed a man doing seven marathons in seven days, a huge hulk of a man dressed as a Baywatch babe, Jesus (yes, actually on the cross), and a lady dressed as an ‘Essex girl’ running in 5” stilettos! It hit me at one point that I wasn’t going as fast as I’d thought when a man dressed as a phone box passed me!

The weather was cold and wet, which was perfect for Team Applecross, being used as we were to the Highlands in winter. There was a man DJing from his flat balcony to spur us on, and kids lined the streets with their hands outstretched to give us high fives all the way along the route. There were steel bands, African drums, jazz, and a Scottish band of pipe players which made us very emotional.

The supporters were fantastic! There were people with cut up bananas, oranges, jelly beans- just because they wanted to do something to help all those people going through all kinds of pain, each one doing it for a reason personal to them. There were moments when I thought I was going crazy with all the thoughts that were running through my head, and moments when the crowd literally reduced me to tears.

Running along the embankment was phenomenal, and passing Big Ben knowing we only had a short way to go was the best thing ever… apart from seeing the finish line and knowing that the pain was going to stop soon. Except it didn’t! The agony of stopping was clear to see in everyone hanging sheepishly around the finish area, unable to move, sit, stand, or walk. And everyone was so emotional they didn’t know whether to collect their kit, hug someone random, collapse on the ground, or cheer like a crazy person!

It really was the best day ever… and to top it all off, it was my birthday… and I got a medal!

I have raised £2,641 online to date and I have lots more to put into the pot. The support we had back home was nothing short of amazing. The whole of Applecross got behind us and tracked us on the app. And the donations just kept pouring in on the day.

My top tips:

  1. I really hated my bumbag. In normal circumstances this would not be something I would purchase, but I needed something to carry my energy gels. Be sure to go running with your bumbag and the kit you’ll take on the day to make sure it’s comfortable!
  2. Make sure you pop to the loo before you start your race! It sounds simple… but even the pros can get caught short!
  3. Never put an overly predicted low time on your application, otherwise you end up at the back of the 38,000 people running and have to spend 13 miles or so weaving in and out of those people who have chosen to walk the marathon.
  4. Never agree to a celebratory dinner just a few hours later… you will be too tired and unable to climb the steps of the tube!
  5. Have fun, and if it feels like it’s too much and you can’t do any more, just remember why you’re doing it, the great cause you’re supporting, and keep going! You’ll get to the finish line eventually, and when you do, you’ll be elated with your achievement!

All in all it was an incredible day- one of the best days of my life- and something I would definitely recommend everyone experiences if they have the opportunity. To run on behalf of Venture Trust knowing that the money I have raised really will support some of the most disadvantaged people in our society is something that I’m so glad I had the chance to do. I can officially call myself a ‘Venturer’… and it doesn’t stop there!

I did think that after The London Marathon the only thing I’d be running was a bath, but Team Applecross has decided to run the Edinburgh Half Marathon in May and I’ll once again be representing Venture Trust! Please do pop over to my Virgin Money Giving Page and give a little (or a lot) to support this incredibly worth-while charity!

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