"The London Marathon is my favourite day of the year" - Sophie Vowden, SV Sports Therapy
Wow, what a day! It comes and goes in the blink of an eye! And it truly is the best day of the year by far for me!
I travelled up to Green Park early on Sunday morning with Orion Harriers' junior coach, Jane Farrier, to cheer on the Orion juniors competing in the London Mini Marathon, which started at 08:40.
I couldn't believe how warm it was already at that time in the morning. I knew we were in for a scorcher!
It was fantastic to see the juniors run. For some it was their last year, being 17 years old, they will be too old next year. In particular, 17-year-old Emily Sharpe, who I have treated since she was 13!
After the Mini Marathon, I walked to the Embankment and set up opposite the London Eye, approx. 25.5 miles into the course and there I waited with SV flag banners and balloons displayed ready for our amazing clients to run past.
The wheelchair athletes, the disabled athletes and then the elite athletes all came through. Mo Farah shot past us looking ridiculously comfortable.
The competitive club runners wearing their vests soon followed - Serpentine, Woodford AC, Orion Harriers AC - but this year it was different... Sub 3-hour runners were walking past us, holding bottles of water. I have never seen this happen at mile 25.5 before - not with this caliber of athletes.
It doesn't matter how experienced you are as a runner, if you push too hard, your body will rebel and I was witnessing that.
From then on, I knew most runners would not be able to achieve a PB and for first time marathoners, knew their times would be much slower than predicted.
Nonetheless, they came, they smiled, they cried and they hugged us!
Josh Jenner embraced me, Joelle Ewen gave me a hug as well, Pippa Dowswell trotted passed wearing her proud Orion vest.
Nik Bowerbank gave me a thumbs up! Lee Rhodes ran over with a smile wearing his SFH vest, Michelle Hunt and Alison Bayliss both spotted me first and shouted my name!
Our amazing Jess calmly trotted over with a smile for a photo! So proud of you, Jess!
Much to my dismay, I missed Mark Bennett while I nipped to the loo, but he saw the SV purple flags and came over, was greeted by my friends who took photos of his Mr Men leggings in aid of Children with Cancer and wished him well!
So there you have it, another London Marathon, the hottest on record.
Every SV client we have spoken to since race day is hungry for more - the weather was their nemesis - they are not at peace with their marathon day. Of course, that's absolutely fine and they should have fire in their bellies. However, every runner from VLM2018 must appreciate the extreme conditions they experienced - going from winter training to then racing in that freaky April heat wave.
It's much more important to have taken it steadily, listened to your body, soaked up the amazing atmosphere and finished in one piece with a smile and a happy heart, than to go for a PB and ending up in the care of St John's Ambulance.
To every single London Marathon runner this year, I salute you! And I cannot wait to help you for VLM2019, which will be London's 40th marathon.
And fingers crossed, I'll be running it too!
SV Sports Therapy