Dave’s London marathon journey 2024

When the club announced that a place for the London marathon had been allocated to Brighton & Hove Front Runners and any members could put their name in a hat, I thought why not? I had already booked to run the Brighton marathon two weeks before and I had also booked a half Iron Man in May so I was focused on training for them at the beginning of the year.

The Christmas party approached and I was sipping my gin and tonic as Damo took the mic and announced the name for the London marathon next year representing the club is “Dave Farr”. I had a mixture of feelings all at once of excitement, anxiousness, fear and what am I going to do about the other events I’m booked into!

I soon was able to get my head around this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to run London and I’m going to take this training seriously so postponed my other events. A week after finding I had a place in the London marathon I came down with the ‘100’ day cough they were calling and it put my training out by over 6 weeks as every time I started running I was coughing endlessly and my chest was so tight.

Mid-January I was back on track, increasing my short runs in the week to 3 times and adding a longer run at the weekend. This time round I added strength training into the programme as well at the gym.

As the weeks progressed I felt pleased with the progress and I started to ramp up the miles by running with individuals for the long runs between 15-20 miles. Also, attending the Sunday long runs and adding a few miles to suit the training plan helped massively. Having individuals and the club with the long runs helped keep on track with all the training and I couldn’t have done it by myself.

Marathon day arrives and nerves kick in, the crowds are massive and the runners come in their hundreds all for different causes. I felt proud to be running for the club wearing my bright purple top and name displayed. The first mile and the crowd are shouting names and the buzz is amazing.

I felt all the training had paid off and soaked up the crowd. At mile 11, I met my friend for a quick photo and a bottle of Lucozade to give me an energy kick. I got to Tower Bridge which was just over halfway and the noise from the crowds was huge, with cameras and photographers everywhere. This was such a boost at this point. At mile 15 and knee pain started which I had not had before I saw a friend at mile 18 who was a runner and stopped to see if she could give any advice – keep running, she said you’ll do it! Not sure about this advice but it was good to see a friendly face. With the knee pain not going away I slowed down dramatically and had to stop and stretch several times. Knowing that I was no longer not going to come under 4 hours as I had with previous marathons I was concentrating on that finish line. Coming up to the Mall I knew the end was in sight and I could see Buckingham Palace in sight, 200 metres and the VIP’s were all cheering in their boxes looking warm and cosy. London marathon done in 4 hours and 14 minutes.

You never know what is going to happen on the day with any run and I said to myself that I will enjoy the day and soak up the sights of London and the crowds. I certainly did and would recommend it to anyone so put your name in the club ballot for a place in 2025 and they will support you all the way!