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I went to the London Marathon exhibition at Docklands on Saturday where the info given was to have a nice pasta meal and bed early . So what did I do ??????? Have a large shish kebab with chips and strawberries and cream after followed by match of the day and in bed at midnight ! Probably not what the experts recommend but never mind !! The alarm went off at 6am on Sunday and I got up and got ready . Got on the 642 train from southend and got on the DLR from Limehouse to Greenwich . On the DLR was some bloke spouting off about how this was his 8th marathon and he now finds it easy and telling everyone about how he was gonna do a fast time etc etc . The satisfaction I got when I went past him at 10 miles while he was visibly wilting was immeasurable !!! Anyway back to the day itself . 9am in Greenwich Park , id already been for a wee 4 times in 20 minutes as I was drinking so much water and lucozade ! Put my kit bag on the lorry and by the time id tried to spot a few celebs it was half 9 and time to get myself to the start . Had another toilet break and as I got to the start needed another one , but now was too late !!!! The race started at 945 but it took 17 minutes of walking to get through the starting gate and on with the run . The first half mile was completely downhill - beautiful - , the first mile barrier was passed under and I thought to myself " how easy is this " , by now I was so desperate for the toilet , luckily the first set of portaloos was placed at about 2.5 miles so when I saw them approaching I knew I had to make a stop. I queued at the toilets though for some 6/7 minutes which I wasn’t happy with and as I saw the bloke in the Rhino outfit pass I knew I had to get back on course quickly !! It was still easy going at this point , even though miles 3-6 are up and down some steep climbs . Just through the 6 mile barrier and I spot to my left a McDonalds . Now all I could think about was food . Instead of looking at all the pretty women in the crowd as I had been doing I started to look beyond them and at the shops I was passing , Angelos Fish Bar , Chicken Express , Pizza Go Go , my mouth was watering now !!!! A little side note at the 8 mile mark where although there were Portaloos available I turned the corner to be greeted by a woman of late 40's/early 50's squatting for a wee by the roadside, something which unfortunately I wont forget ! Managed to get through the first 11 miles at an average of just over 10 minutes a mile which I was happy about and was still feeling good , I just couldn’t have imagined what lay ahead of me . 13 miles gone and I could see the half way barrier , thigh muscles starting to hurt a little but nothing major , then , on the other side of the road im watching the more elite runners going downhill having completed 22 miles when im going uphill having done 13 . To say that broke me was an understatement !!! I got through the 14 mile barrier and was looking out for the 15 mile banner but couldn’t see it anywhere , that’s when I realised I still had 11 odd miles of torture to go through . The lucozade stand which was supposed to be near mile 15 was there but I still couldn’t see the 15 mile point ( While im at it id like to say that at every Lucozade stop I had to contend with my feet literally sticking to the road due to all the discarded drink !! ) . By now I was almost in tears , having not seen the 15 mile flags at all .I think this is what they call "The wall " but I got to my wall much earlier than the apparent 20 mile wall ! Finally I saw the banner and as I got closer I saw that it wasn’t 15 but infact 16 . I was so happy it was untrue ! I got through 16 and saw another hill , now it was time for a rest and a little walk . Started walking up the hill but I could feel my muscles tightening across my thighs and calves , and the bottoms of my feet felt like I was walkin across hot coals and then getting needles stabbed into them . So I decided to start up a jog again , albeit by now a very slow one !!! I managed to run through to the 19 mile barrier even though every water station had by this time run out of supplies ,so my mouth was dry, my head was burning in the heat and my legs felt like lead ! So at about 19.5 miles I decided id have another little walk as id found some shade from the surrounding buildings . My legs started seizing up again so I picked up my feet for another jog and as I passed the 20 mile barrier I get a call of "TRENKS !!!" , I turn around to see Keith Wilson my old Wakering team mate watching from the side of the road . I stopped for a quick chat with him and a photo and at that point I couldn’t have been happier to see someone I knew . It definitely carried me through the next couple of miles . I got to just before the 22 mile barrier and walked for another 200 yards whilst I had a bottle of water that id been wanting for the last 4 miles ! The muscles started going again so I got running and I managed to somehow spot another mate Lee Williams standing at the side of the road . He seemed shocked to see me , probably because he, along with many others , never thought theyd see me still going at 22 miles !!! At 22.5 miles was the supporter zone for the charity I was running for , they went crazy when they saw me coming past and the energy rush I got from that was superb , it made me feel great . About 100 yards further down the road and I get a call of "DANNNNNNNN" and it was my girlfriend and her mate in the crowd so again I got a huge boost from seeing her . At this point I was running alongside 10 blokes dressed as convicts in their black and white striped gear , all chained together , singing " who let the cons out , ooo , ooo, ooo , ooo" , I rang alongside them as we entered the tunnel on Lower Thames Street and as they were all chained together they all had to have a wee stop at the same time , people were taking photos of them all lined up against the wall relieving themselves and it made me chuckle aswell . I passed the " Welcome to Westminster " signs finally and that made me feel like the end was near , but it was still the most gruelling 3 miles to the finish . At mile 24 I decided to have another walk but by now my feet were in so much pain and muscles in my legs which I never knew I had were hurting .Plus the crowd were cheering so I picked up a jog and as I got through the 25 mile barrier I could sense I was near , but that last mile was the longest mile of my life . It just seemed to never end . I was in so much pain at this point I wanted to keel over . It was quite a worrying site all day seeing so many people on the side of the road keeled over being treated by paramedics , especially when I saw one being treated less than a mile from the finish , I hope they managed to get up and finish the race . I then spotted a banner which said 800 metres to go and in my head I was counting down every few strides , then I got through the 600 metres to go banner but still I couldn’t see the finish . The 400 came up but still no sign !!! As we turned the corner there was the finish , just metres down the road , like an oasis in the desert. I was getting very emotional at that point and as I came to the last 50 metres or so I felt the biggest lump in my throat and as I crossed the line I just stood there , wanting to cry but so out of energy that I just couldn’t , so this lump just stayed there while I collected my medal , got a photo done and collected a goody bag with food drink and foil blanket in. I collected my kit bag and found a nice spot of grass where I just put the foil blanket down and flopped myself to the ground . I kicked off my trainers and curled up in a ball and stayed there for a good half hour before trying to get up again . I was shattered but I felt good . Id been through every emotion possible out there and it was hard to let it all sink in .

The crowd was immense . After all that’s happened in London recently with gang stabbings etc it was so brilliant to see so many people from so many different backgrounds out there supporting , constantly clapping and cheering for people that they had never ever met . I think if there was no crowd , id have dropped out by 16 miles , but they just kept me going through it to the end which I was so glad of . I later learned that Gebreselasse had dropped out of the mens race at 18 miles , the wimp !!! Theres not many who can say they’ve beaten probably the most famous distance runner of all time in a running race but I am one of them !!! Ha ha .

Next year? - im not even thinking of it at the moment , its gonna take me a long time to consider it again !!

Im so greatful to all those who supported me and helped me raise £1826 for charity . Thank you all

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trenks i went through every emotion with you there! i was in tears when you reached mile 16 when you was expecting it to be 15. tears of joy flowed.

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well done Dan! bigshockare you still with us? grini have got a text saying "i did it.5 hours 11 minutes.my legs are like lead at the moment.feel [****!!****] dreadful!!"ha ha quality mate,well impressed,that's your pre-season done! applause grin

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Originally Posted By: coupwotcoup
Just read it all finally. Very moving indeed. You deserve all the plaudits in the world mate. Ask me for a tenner next time I see you.

Can I have a tenner the next time I see you as well Coups?
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