for those who love the outdoors

6 October, 2022

Our London Marathon experience - Event of a lifetime

The TCS London Marathon 2022 took place last Sunday, attracting over 42,000 participants. Three of those runners are members of the Raccoon Media Group team, whose journey's we have been tracking over the past 3 months. Read their experience of the great marathon and take inspiration from their messages.

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TCS London Marathon 2022

The TCS London Marathon attracted over 42,000 inspired runners when it took place last weekend, following the move from its original time. Over the past few months we have been following the journey of Mike, Rachel and Nathalie, 3 of the Raccoon Media Group team who have been talking through their mental and physical prepration for the big day. Check out our 3 months, 2 months, one month and pre race blog articles if you have missed them previously.

Mike, Rachel and Nathalie have been raising money for Birmingham Children's hospital, 

They have a clear mission, vision and goal for what they want to achieve.

Their mission is to provide outstanding care and treatment, to share and spread new knowledge and practice, and to always be at the forefront of what is possible.

Their vision is to be a world-leading team, providing world-leading care.

Their goal is to be the best place to work and be cared for, where research and innovation thrives, creating a global impact.

You can find out more about Birmingham Children's Hospital by heading to their website here.

Rachel

BEST MARATHON EVER !

I set myself a goal to just take it all in and enjoy it, I’d be lying if I said I was ready for Race Day, as I was a bag of nerves.

We set off for London early and before we knew it, Nathalie and I were stood in the holding pen, where we saw a load of National Running Show clients and friends. I was lucky enough to run with a good friend as we started at the same time. We set off and fairly quickly started to count down the miles. The atmosphere was electric and way beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I knew the first time I would see my family would be around mile 6 - where there were BIG smiles all round. I was lucky enough to see my friends and family 6 times over the whole course. I continued to run and my hip gave way around mile 14 where I decided to take it easy and back off a little bit. That’s when I started to really believe I could complete this marathon and enjoy it. The sun came out about mile 10 for me and Oh. My. Gosh – IT WAS HOT! Luckily, one of the sponsors were handing out hats and I took one as I needed to keep the sun out of my eyes. I HATE RUNNING IN THE SUN, but even the heat wasn’t going to stop me.

As I counted down the miles and soaked in the atmosphere, before I knew it I was at mile 23, with 5K left, I put my foot down and flew through. Crossing the line was the most overwhelming feeling, I held on to the security men and just cried. I stumbled around for a little bit, held back the tears, and then found the rest of the team.

There was so much love to be shared for everyone, the whole team did amazingly and of course, raising money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital really pushed us through.

I have now run 4 (3 official ) Marathons now, and I can I honestly say that London Marathon was the BEST. 7 years ago, I started running because I wanted to run the London marathon, I waited for 7 years to run this event – and it DID NOT disappoint. I always said to myself, I can give up running when I complete London. Am I giving up ? – no, this is just the beginning.

Me and matt cut

Nathalie

I can't believe I actually ran a marathon, it was my first one and what an experience!

On the day, Rachel and I travelled into London together and we were a combination of nerves and excitment. In the holding pen area before the race we actually bumped into lots of National Running Show clients and ambassadors which was really lovely and chatting to them helped put the nerves at bay and had me raring to go at the start line.

I found the first 10 miles went by quite quickly as the crowds were amazing and I had lovely family and friends along the route that I was looking for. At mile 15 my knee really started to hurt and I had a mild panic I wouldn't be able to finish but I took some paracetamol and tried to distract myself not to think about my knee. This worked until about mile 19 when I hit a bit of a wall and got quite emotional but some of the crowd saw me struggling and kept cheering my name which gave me the push I needed to plough on.

I can honestly say having my friends and family along the route was the game changer for me, I had a list I wrote on my arm of which miles I'd see someone I knew and that really kept me going. I kept looking at my arm and I'd keep saying to myself things like "10 more minutes of running and I'll see my dad, 30 more minutes and I'll see Hannah".

My target was to do the marathon in 4:45 and I completed it in 4:43 so I'm very happy with that. I got to celebrate at the end of the race giving all my family and friends the biggest hug (and an extra big hug for Rachel!)

I was absolutely shattered and legs felt horrendous the following day but day 2 I did lots of stretching and slept better so I can already feel myself recovering which is great.

Would I do a marathon again; I don't think so but I loved the experience of doing The London Marathon and am so glad I did it especially as we've raised lots of money for Birmingham Children's Hospital.

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Mike

So firstly WOW - that was just an incredible experience and the best vibe on-course for any race I’ve ever done. Being a 6’4 bloke in a pink tutu and a tiara, I got a few funny shout outs and it really helped lift me all the way round. If you ever need a sign that humanity is good, come and watch a marathon and see how long the crowd wait around, cheer and support - the level of effort and the amount of time people gave was probably the most wholesome thing I’ve ever seen. I made a point not to beast myself at this race and to take it all in and try to enjoy it - which I really did (for the first 20 miles!) 

The last 6 mile were a bit of a slog but I ground it out and even managed a mini sprint finish down the home straight fairy style! 🧚‍♀️ I ended up with a 3:53 time which was safely under my 4-hr target - I ran the first half in about 1:50 which gave me the cushion for the second half and got me home in good shape. I always prefer it that way, as I like to bank the time early while I feel fresh instead of chasing it later on. 

People think marathons must be easy if you run ultras, but they really aren't - this was a tough race and a true test of character, so I'm really proud of myself for getting it done! In true runner style I ignored all correct nutrition advice and demolished a massive KFC as my post-run refuel - I'm such an athlete!! My legs feel good today (day after the race) - a little tight but managed to get out for a couple of short walks and drank loads of water which helped. I have the 56-mile ultra this weekend (😳) so just going to focus on resting, strength and stretching between now and then (and maybe carb loading some more junk food 😜).

London Mara 5

A massive thank you!

The team at Raccoon would like to say a massive thank you to the brands whosupported Rachel, Nathalie and Mike through the training and race  process providing kit, nutrition and advice.

A massive thank you to:

Another massive thank you to brands that have sponsored the trio so far:


Can I still support?

You can look back on their journeys by heading to the National Running Show Instagram, or by heading to their personal pages where they have been documenting their training and progression.

Mike’s Instagram

Nathalie’s Instagram

Rachel’s Instagram


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