It was in 1992 when I watched my first Olympic Games on TV that I caught the running bug. I joined my local club and announced to my family that I was going to become an Olympian one day….24 years later and I’m living that very dream.
Whether anyone actually took me seriously back then, I was. Even when things didn’t work out or people put me down I held on, I kept working hard, I learnt new lessons and, most of all, I kept believing. If you have a dream you have to believe and go out there and achieve it. Of course I didn’t do this alone. I am surrounded by the best team, my husband, coach, physio, family and friends and not forgetting my sponsors. They have helped and supported me every step of the way on this amazing journey & they never stop looking for ways to improve my chances of success no matter how small. It may have taken almost 25 years to get there but running has given me so much and I have learned a lot about myself along the way.
Sunday was a huge day. Having already ran the qualifying time in Berlin last year, becoming the 7th fastest UK woman in history, it was down to a first 2 past the post selection criteria in the London Marathon. Everyone on that start line (and many who unfortunately didn’t make it) train so incredibly hard for months, even years, all for that one defining race. It’s all or nothing, everything is on the line on that one day, success or fail. Picking up something as simple as a cold or slipping on a training run can put all that hard work and effort at risk, I’m so incredibly thankful of my team that got me to the line healthy and ready to give my all.
Of course like every athlete I would have loved to have gone out on Sunday and ran fast but this was a tactical race where the pace was up and down. It was a case of watching for the moves and reacting to them. By 22 miles it was down to the 2 of us and I knew I had to hold my place to the line which I did.
What next? Right now I am living in this very special moment.