15.4.08

Thank you London, and good night

I did it! A few weeks before Christmas I was offered a place to run the London marathon for a cancer charity and on Sunday I crossed a finish line I had been working towards for the last couple of years really.

I ran steadily for the first 20 miles and then mixed power-walking and running for the last six miles, because I didn't want to hit "the wall" at that crucial stage. I'm pleased to say I didn't hit it at all throughout the whole race.

The crowds were really great but it was my support team, and thinking of my beloved Bonnie that got me through those 26.2 miles. So thanks to Fiancé Dan, Mum, Dad, Bro Dan, Trish, David, Jon and Mini. Thanks also to everyone who called, text and Facebooked me, watched me on the TV, and especially to all of those of you who sponsored me and who put up with all my marathon chat over the last few months. It was the thought of all your support that got me round.

So the race itself? Well the weather was mixed. At the start I thought I might get sunburn, but at mile 20 I thought I was so cold I was blotchy and thought I might get frostbite.

The course wound its way through residential parts of London for about 75 per cent of the course, and the bands, kids, Morris dancers, St John's ambulance crews etc were awesome. The residential scenery started to get a bit boring after a while, but just when I needed a kick up the arse we passed Tower of London, and the Gherkin rose in the distance.

And then I was on the home straight. First the Houses of Parliament appeared on the horizon and I knew I was nearly there. The crowd along the Embankment were awesome, and thanks so much to the ladies I saw from my charity at the point, that was encouragement indeed. On The Eye I could see people watching us and then we turned past Westminster Abbey and onto Birdcage Walk.

I couldn't believe it when I saw the "400 metres to go" sign. I really went for it then. Steamed alongside Buckingham Palace where I saw a very hoarse Dan, then I saw my Mum, Dad and Bro in the grandstand and knew I'd done it. Arms in the air I crossed that finish line thinking of Bonnie.

She is the reason I did this. Running that marathon didn't bring her back, but hopefully the money you've helped me raise will bring cancer research that little bit further along so that other families won't have to go through losing anyone or any pet. I'm currently on £870 and would just love to make it to £1000.

I have a few more weeks to collect my money and I simply beg you to dig deep to get me that bit further up. I went, I ran, I bled, sweated and cried. Please, please help me raise that final £130. And in case you don't already know, you do that by going to www.justgiving.com/bonniebarnhouse. Thanks guys.

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