Ella got a club place in the 2019 London Marathon, she wrote this about her experience and wanted to share to help inspire and motivate others, like her, who not so long ago hadn’t even run 5km. Ella started her running with a Couch to 5k program in 2012.

Nerves getting ready
Bus full of runners
Free travel
Excitement in the air
Helpful & informative bus driver
Mastering the art of female urinals
Hilarity of others using the female urinals
Having spare bin bags to give to other runners
Next time have a foil blanket and piece of cardboard
Hard boiled egg & salt
You wait a long time to start
Please don’t rain
Crowds lining the streets from the start
First amplified singer within 3km “I will survive”
Abandoned gloves everywhere
Humps with Scouts
Abandoning my own top and hoping it finds a good home
Do we need a wee stop or not??
Feeling good
Running well
Trying not to run too fast
Running with a friend
LOUD drums reverberating in an underpass
Move right when approaching a water station
VERY sticky shoes after a Lucozade station – imagine the worst pub carpet and triple it!
Wee stop
Who left that in there?!!
Still running well
I’ve no clue where I am
Still no break in the crowds lining the streets
Touch here to power up signs
High fiving all the kids
Megaphones shouting your name – “Ellarhhh” Cockney
Morris dancers
Drain smells
Still running well, still having to slow down, still with Nic
Pipe band “it’s a long way to Tipperary” funny not funny
Approaching Greenwich Village and the crowds are even more crazy
There’s where I had an amazing Vietnamese lunch yesterday
Looking out for the friends & family support crew
Hundreds of spectators
There they are!!! Woop woop! SO good to see and be seen
Round the corner, still lots of noise, still lots of people, still running well
Madly waving spectators – sister of my original run coach – SO amazing to see them
Calm down
Running well
Feeling good
Music, bands, singing
Still trying to slow down
Running through the neighbourhood where I’m staying – I finally recognise where I am
Trying to say “Rotherhithe” and completely failing
Turn a corner and Oh My God it’s Tower Bridge! (Grabs Nic to share the grinning moment)
Amazing crowds, amazing noise
Madness tune
Bouncing along
Half marathon in just over 2 hours – we got this
2 minutes later and lots of people start walking and the going gets tough
I start dropping off behind Nic
I fight to catch up and tell Nic I need to slow down and he has to promise to go without me
Nic’s struggling too
It all gets a bit weird
I feel weird
I take on some water
I don’t know if Nic is behind or in front
I’m on my own
It’s hard
Decision time – push hard for a good time and be miserable or go with all the advice of enjoying the experience
Fast runners on the other side of the barriers
The crowds thin slightly
That’s it, I don’t want this to be a miserable experience
Take time out and enjoy
It’s not a pretty area
Drain smells
Can’t face any Shotblocks
Take some water
Stop for half a pork pie
Keep going in the hopes that I see the support crew and some flat Dr Pepper
Stop for another half pork pie
It tastes amazing!
Chris Evans and his motivational words “it’s all down hill from here”
Drain smells
Cannabis smells
Barbecue smells
Really struggling to keep going
Keep looking for the support crew
Stop and ask for help extracting paracetamol from pocket
Canary Wharf tall buildings
Super noisy band
Walking quite a bit
I know it’s because I’m between 25 & 35k
No support crew
Crowds keep encouraging
That’ll be a hill
Slow runners on the other side of the barriers
I somehow miss seeing Tower Bridge & Tower of London on second pass-by
Surely the support crew must be here somewhere
I need them
Constantly scanning the crowds
Honk a hooter
More water
Street parties
Surely this is the embankment
Where are they
Not nice in there
Lots of us walking whilst GPS can’t get us!
St Johns Ambulance and the gloves of Vaseline
Crowds and crowds
Food smells
Wish I’d brought some money
Now I know why a couple stopped at McDonalds
Amazing crowds
Confetti poppers
Charity runners
Charity supporters
Orange corner
Placards “you’re running better than the government”
There they are!
Oh My God! SO good to see the support crew
Sharp right turn
Huge hugs
Dr Pepper
Shoulder massage
Chill out for 5
Wind up the crowd to get me going again
Downhill, arms spread out, encouraging the crowd to roar
This is brilliant
Still flying
I mean, who gets stitch in the last few km of a marathon?
That’ll be the Dr Pepper
Hit a slump
Trot, walk, trot
Big Ben is so far away
Trot on
Finally reach Big Ben
He’s covered in scaffolding
Unexpected Club friends shouting
Blow a kiss
Really wish I’d stopped to hug and chat
Longest 600m of my life
Have a walk – need to be able to run the last
Buckingham Palace
There it is
It’s done
My medal
Smiling marshalls
Happy people
Hug Sean Conway and his huge Scout badge
So much noise – yet the one sound that really stays with me is the peaceful chiming of the medals as they’re being passed
Where’s Nic Wish we’d been together
Keep moving
Find kit bag number
Try to step up the pavement curb – oh
Try to work out the alphabet Find K
Sit down
SO emotional
Everyone so emotional
Tasteless lentil crisps
SO many messages on my phone
No 1 support crew member arrives
Love her to bits
Big hugs
Shoes off
Crew arrives
Lots of hugs
Crowds Full
Little boy “Congratulations”
Walking well
SO many messages it’s overwhelming
and humbling

Ella’s London Marathon..