Tomorrow marks three months since I ran the London Marathon and I'm just now getting around to writing this - yikes!
I ran for the charity Tommy's which funds research into stillbirth as well as provides services to families who lose a baby. Originally I was on a wait list to run with them, but was so happy when a slot opened up. I felt a little guilty about soliciting for donations since I've hit up the same generous pool of family and friends a few times, but as always, the people who made donations made me so grateful and humbled and just really proud that I could do something for Cale. Because of them Tommy's received almost £2,500!
The Marathon itself was incredible. There were literally spectators and supporters lining the streets the ENTIRE route. And they were at least three deep on either side. I was able to see Miles, his mom, and Finn around the halfway point (Mary was with Grandpa and I missed them, unfortunately). I wasn't racing this marathon - it was all about the experience and I'm so glad I didn't have a time pressure because the environment was just crazy and worth soaking up and not being stressed over my pace.
Tommy's had two cheer stations along the course which was nice - to know that you would pass by a group that would be specifically cheering for you. I had put my name on my top and was glad I did, it definitely gives you a boost when you hear someone call your name and give you some encouragement. I saw several other Tommy's runners along the course which was nice too. I didn't expect it to be as emotional at times as it was. Which, in hindsight is silly, I'm a pretty emotional runner as is and this time I was running because of Cale. I guess what surprised me was just the ache I felt - it's like while I was grateful to get to run because of him and raise some money for a good cause, I also just really missed him. I kept thinking how I wished he was with Miles and I'd get to see his little face along the way and what a nice boost that would be for me. I really just felt this overwhelming sense of how much his presence was missed.
I didn't see any royalty though later learned they were out spectating around the mile seven mark and they handed up medals - in fact Princess Kate handed out a medal to a guy I remember running next to AT THE VERY END. He went in a different line (there were several at the finish) and I had stopped to take a picture of the finish line before crossing. I missed my chance to become BFFs with Kate - damn!
Nonetheless the race was amazing. I'm so, so grateful for the chance to have experienced it.