Sunday 31st May, Edinburgh Marathon, our trip north of the border for the most far flung of my 2015 marathons. I knew this one would be emotional as my running partner was my old school friend and marathon newbie Alison Goldney. Having never raced beyond a half and never having run beyond 19.5 miles in training Alison, bravely boarded the train up north with me for what, according to the Met Office, promised to be a very soggy and blustery affair. After a relaxing and chocolatey train journey to Edinburgh we arrived at our destination on Saturday afternoon - just in time to see my team (Villa) get a good whooping in the FA Cup Final. One could only hope race day would have a slightly better result!
Our weekend started with repeated anxious checking of the weather forecast and last minute shopping for appropriate race kit - hats, t-shirts, basically anything waterproof. We half jokingly debated whether it would be possible to run carrying a brolly, but decided the 30mph winds that were forecast meant we would no doubt end up looking more like Mary Poppins than Paula Radcliffe. However we did both purchase what has now become known as 'the infamous', cheap blue fleece jacket to wear on the start line and then ditch as the race began. This will come as no surprise to friends that know Ali well, but being the lover of a bargain that she is, she grew somewhat attached to her £7 buddy and refused to leave him behind - in fact she even threatened to stop and collect mine if I threw it too!!! You've got to love Ali!
I am truly inspired and in awe of Ali's commitment to this challenge and her performance on race day. She proved what I already knew, that she is an amazing and determined young woman, who when she puts her mind to it, can achieve anything. I am so proud to have raced with her and so very proud to call her my friend.
I can't end this post without saying a massive thank you to everyone that has continued to sponsor us this weekend. We have surpassed my initial £2.5K target and are now well on our way to £3K. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all, you are making a girl who just runs, very happy!