Great Ocean Road 23km Half Marathon-419380
Cole Classic Manly 2.5km Swim-10921371
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Run (The London Marathon)
Charlotte, who is my cousin, had always expressed an interest in doing the London marathon and signed up to do the 2009 event for a charity. As I knew her well I was full of encouragement in order for her to sign up, but to be honest, didn't actually think that she would. She worked in the city but loves the countryside. I knew she liked walking but was confident that running wasn't going to be her thing. I decided that our "chat" would happen whilst doing our first run, she had no injuries.
We cycled to a long straight road in Richmond Park, near the gym, and I sent her on her way. Thinking she would be gone for a while I looked away to get some water out of my bag. No more than 10 seconds later she was walking towards me with her hands on her head. "What's wrong", I asked, "I'm knackered" she replied. My initial thought was, "oh god" this is going to be hard.
Over the coming months, we started at 100 metres and worked up to 5 miles. By early December we were up to 7 and the progression continued. I would meet her every Saturday and go running with her and then send her on her way with a weekly plan to keep to. To her credit she did just that. Three weeks prior to the race we were going to do 20 miles or 3 hours, whichever came first. She wanted to do 20 miles, regardless, and so 4 hours later we passed the 20 mile mark. She was ready, and confidence was growing.
Three days prior to the event the panic set in and I got THAT phone call. I managed to find a spare place so 2 days later I was on the start line (a different start gate) in order to try and get her around the course. We met at mile 13 with the usual strop and stamping of the feet. But she got going again and we entered the mall tied but running. 5hr 25 minutes after the start, we crossed the finish line and it couldn't come soon enough. In seven months we had gone from less than 100 metres to 26.2 miles. It was amazing. I'm not sure I will get another marathon out of her, but I don't think that really matters.