When you look and feel your worst, but still make friends, you know they are keepers.
I didn't want to get out of bed, but the knowledge that every step I took today would take me to the finish line of this monumental challenge swayed it.
I was up and heading to see Vixx for my pre race massage. One that helped put a spring in my step and helped me start this final race.
12 of us 7in7ers started at 8.30 rather than the normal 9.30. Giving us a chance to be finishing closer to the quicker guys.
I set of with James and Dan on our run walk strategy. The sun was shining and spirits were high! We were to have a giggle of a day. The first initial aim, try to get past the 9.30 runners before they started. Thankfully we managed that, just.
It was great to see Mel and Liz with their dogs, Emma was running the marathon and had made wonderful cakes! Lisa running in support with her for 18 miles! Stefan was back for the last day before MDS and Nici was running a double, her first real challenge since being knocked off her bike in November.
It wasn't to long before the fresher legged guys and the four quick 7in7ers past us, but we were still ahead for now.
All the public we had come across had been very supportive to us, but one lady was rather cheeky. As we walked, as best we could, a lady made the comment "aren't you supposed to be running"! Shocked, I managed to mutter," I could be boxing and you could be swimming". That set Dan off into laughter, and thankfully she didn't hear it. I wouldn't have been able to run away.
We kept up our run walk for the rest of the lap. Dan deciding we looked like the old boys from Last of the Summer Wine.
Not sure who was who?
Start of lap 3, and Fay was joining us for a lap around the lake. A welcome distraction! Having to reign Fay in, running off to quick for us three shuffling old blokes. We were son joined by Janes surprise visitor Ali. No loud ass whacks today though!
The five of us trudged on, although the girls did start nattering, and I said to the lads, "how far will they run if we walk?". Didn't get a chance to find out.
Every now and then Paul would pop up with his camera and get snaps. We all felt we should run when Paul had his camera out, but not on the hills. It was good to se him, and taking the sensible decision not to run day three. Brathays 10 in 10 is coming up! I know, a sensible runner. Very rare.
It was long until we were onto lap four. Fay dropped off but Ali stayed with us. Shuffling along, a bit of Monty Python quoted. Eating up the miles. Although the outside of my left knee was really playing up. Thankfully Dan had some big drugs which I gratefully took. It worked a treat.
A few more laps knocked out, some hail fell on us and we saw plenty of the other guys as they went past. I picked up my phone, I wanted to show James and Dan a video on Goats shouting like humans. It's hilarious! Go find it on YouTube.
We chuckled along to the start of our final lap. Fay and Ali joined us again. The pace was also picking up. That finishing line was so very close now. We walked our walking stretches. One final pee in the bush for James. We ran well our running stretches. We were soon by the pub and only a few 100 metres from the finish. We were stripped down to our running tops, the pace had picked up and so had the heat. The girls took the short route to the finish as we headed off to our finish. The three amigos! Or the old boys above!
James wanted us to do the Can-Can across the line. Initially Dan and myself weren't convinced. Dan thought he might not be able to lift his leg high enough, I thought I would lead with the wrong foot and kick one of them. We did however manage to organize ourselves, and as we came up to the line, we Can-Canned! A fun way to finish an enjoyable marathon and probably my first negative split marathon!! We were home in 6.27!
It was hugs a plenty as we received our final medal and trophy for completing the 7in7 challenge. Bubbles were drank and pictures a plenty! We had done it.
Thank you Dan and James for the brilliant company. It made the challenge a little easier to deal with. Thank you to Fay, Jane and Ali for joining us over the last two days. Thank you to Vixx for the rub downs.
A massive thank you to Karen and Foxy, for putting on a brilliant event. You looked after us really really well. Top top people.
I shall write another blog in a few days covering the whole event. But for now it's time to relax a little.