Merrill Lynch of Lynch Plant Hire shares his experience of recently running the London Marathon for the Lighthouse Club
After months of training, the frustration of injuries and last minute worries in the build up, the big day of the Virgin Money London Marathon arrived. The excitement had been growing in the city during the week, and we had all been down to the Expo to register and take in some of the atmosphere.
The morning involved an early start, a trip down on the Jubilee line to London Bridge station, where there were thousands of runners waiting to get on to the train to the start at Greenwich. The sun was already warm and there had been many warnings to participants about staying cool, taking on enough water and adjusting goal times. Our aim was to stay together and finish together, whatever the time it took, especially since we had all sustained various injuries and niggles in the preceding month. Going under six hours would be good and getting close to 5 hours would be amazing.
Rob calmed our pre-race nerves as he drew on his experience running the event back in 2005, and we stayed as relaxed as possible as we got into our starting area and eventually set off through the start line at 10.45am. We ran steady over the first miles, winding our around through the masses of charity runners, people dressed as pink lady apples, batman & robin, the women on stilts, making our way out to Woolwich and enjoying the support on the road side. The first big landmark was going around the Cutty Sark at mile 6 and the crowds were wild and vociferous on all sides, hanging out of windows, on top of bus shelters, standing on walls, cheering us all on.
The heat of the day was beginning to be felt, but regular water stations kept us hydrated or could be used to douse ourselves down. There were showers on the course too and the fire brigade came out to spray everyone too. Still we kept on going steady passing over Tower Bridge at mile 12 and heading out towards Canary Wharf. At 1.00pm it was the hottest part of the day and it was necessary to slow the pace and reconsider our speed. We knew that family and friends were waiting for us at mile 17 on the Isle of Dogs and it was a massive motivation to get to them, and see our father, Liam, and Darren’s wife and little baby boy, Lucy and Alistair.
Mile 18 onwards was really tough, and we needed to walk-run to cool ourselves down and ease the heavy-legged feeling. Our missed training sessions were becoming evident as none of us had gone past the 13 mile mark, when we knew that we had to put in some longer runs of 16 or 20 miles. Despite the brilliant crowd cheering on the ‘Lynch Brothers’ and running past the amazing London landmarks, these next miles became a bit of a blur, though we do remember getting passed by a couple of rhinos. From mile 24, we were feeling cooler and were excited to reach the end, and so we upped the pace, determined to finish strong and enjoy the run along the embankment, past the Houses of Parliament and towards Buckingham Palace to the finish line on the Mall.
26.2 miles in 5 hours and 50 minutes on a desperately hot day, and we made to the end together. We are all so thankful for the sponsorship that we have received and we are delighted to have raised just shy of £8,000 for the construction charity, the Lighthouse Club. Merrill has been instrumental in seeking donations from far and wide.
So what next for the Lynch Brothers, what gruelling challenge shall we take on in 2019?
For further information on the Lighthouse Club click here
For further information on Lynch Plant Hire click here