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Running London - A dream come true for Kim Hall.

Wow... just wow.... Incredible how something can be so tough and yet so wonderful at the same time. Although I have entered the ballot and been unsuccessful so many times, I never really imagined myself actually being able to do it! A brief moment of bravery when I enquired to Bruce about a charity space with The Rose Road Association, led very quickly to a moment of panic when I was offered the place.

Training was actually mostly really enjoyable. Especially having my friend Sarah to run with most weeks. Also the great support of Totton running club. Although there was a spell of very cold weather and ice just as I was starting to up the running, typical.

I was so lucky, as my training partner and I got put in the same colour start and decided to run together.

The day itself.... wow... standing in our ponchos in the pouring rain, equally terrified and ridiculously excited at the same time. Going over the start line was such a wow moment. Especially having just received many messages from people saying they were watching on TV! The run was tough mentally, and I had stomach cramps from mile 5....🙄 but the support from the crowds was mind blowing, even in that weather. The sheer volume of noise, variety of music and all different kinds of people watching and cheering was fabulous. Morris dancers, bagpipers, drunk people outside pubs, drag Queens, drummers, and a man with a trumpet who played 'oh when the saints' just as we went past.

Seeing my family and friends was a wonderful boost each time. I got emotional every time I saw my husband and 2 sons. The surprise of my best friend and her sister being there was enough to set off the tears. Seeing the The Rose Road Association staff really reminded me why I was doing it and made me ever so emotional. I thought of them and the families they help many times during the race. Anyway... the last 6 miles seemed to go by so slowly..... but I knew the end, the bit I had always dreamt of doing, would be worth it. And it didn't disappoint. Going around that last corner, I glanced to the left and took a deep breath as I looked at Buckingham Palace, before looking to the right to see the final stretch down the mall. It was incredible crossing that line. Hugs, many tears and disbelief in myself.

A real highlight of the day was my youngest telling me a couple of hours later how proud of me he was, and telling me he would walk slowly to the train station with me.

I think overall I found it tougher mentally than physically. I never thought I would be able to do a marathon. A dream come true. Now.... what's next?...

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