Nigel raises awareness through his Marathon effort
Well that's it over and done with!! London marathon 2012 was a fantastic experience and the support I was given along the 26.2 miles was tremendous.
The night before I only managed 3 hours sleep, excited and also nervous of what lay ahead. Having been up since 4:45 at my hotel in London docklands I made final preparations for the day and headed down the the hotel restaurant for breakfast. The breakfast available was fantastic everything you could think of, so tempted to get a cooked breakfast but porridge and small amount of scrambled egg was Ll I had.
The biggest test of the day so far was trying to get to the start line in Greenwich Park. I headed for the nearest tube station and my plan was to follow other fellow runners but when I arrived at the station it was deserted. Soon a train arrived and I jumped on, nobody in sight except one gentleman who I asked for directions. He explained where I needed to go to change trains and platform number, and the kind gentleman even showed me to the platform I needed, thank you to that gentleman.
Arriving at Greenwich around two hours before the start I had a wonder around the start. Grabbing free water and locazade I parked myself under a tree and listened to some music and tried to relax. Watching some of the strange sights arriving included, a man with a tiger on his back, cool runnings bobsleigh team complete with bobsleigh. With 9:45 fast approaching I handed my bag in and lined up at the start, mine being red zone 4.
9:45 and I'm off hitting the London streets and 26.2 miles to go. The first few miles came and went very quickly support for everyone from the crowd was fantastic, and so many different sites along the route, bands, dancers etc.
Reaching the half way point and my time was 2:04 which I was more than happy with. Now in the heart of the docklands and passing the 14 mile mark and seeing the elite runners passing me on the opposite side hitting their 21 mile mark, I was wishing I was at that point.
Legs starting to hurt and coming up to a gel station I was greatful for the extra boost. Crowds were massive and the idea of having my name on the front of my vest was an excellent idea, the boost I got from the crowd shouting my name was just what I needed.
Getting to the 21 mile mark and the sight of the National Autistic Society cheering point was fantastic, the cheer and calls of my name kept me going for the final 5 miles.
At this point I was slowing down my time was slowing and at 25 mile mark my time was 4:18, one more mile need to keep going that's all I could think, turning into Birdcage walk the welcome sign of 800m to go Buckingham Palace in the background turning left onto the mall it was there just a few 100m to go the crowd knowing I was hurting shouting my name, policemen and women, the armed forces people and the marshalls shouting come on your there keep going was nothing I had experienced before 4:34 and I was done its over I have completed the Virgin London Marathon 2012.
For the next few minutes everything was just a blur a was ushered into a line of other runners and timing chip was removed and medal presented.
Collecting my bag getting a well deserved drink and pictures taken, I headed for the NAS meeting point. Greeted by NAS volunteers who kindly carried my bags and escorted me the short walk through Horse guards parade and to the NAS hotel.
The welcome I received was fantastic everybody cheering when I walked through the doors. I gratefully accepted the offer of a shower and massage just what I needed.
So time to head back to my hotel and have a well deserved beer!!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me and sponsored for the London marathon. A massive thank you to The National Autistic Society for giving me the opportunity to complete one of my lifetime goals and for the fantastic support they gave me on the day. Another big thank you has to go to the crowds in London you were fantastic and helped me get through the day, you are a credit to Britain!