Birmingham midwife Amie Wilson chronicles her long run through the streets of Paris to raise cash for Ammalife, our sponsored charity.
26.2 miles…An emotional end point!
The day began at 5am with cereal bars and energy drinks as usual, but today was no ordinary running day, today was the day we had been training for the past few months, the reason why life had revolved around running..The butterflies could not be contained…had I trained enough, had I eaten right, was that sip of wine I had two days ago a bad idea???
But it was too late, we were there to run, and run we would!
The morning was icy cold so we took refuge in a local shopping centre by the start line with other runners to keep warm…the music started up, time to get into position along with the other 50,000 runners for the Paris Marathon!
The starting support was immense, the adrenaline pumping, gearing you up for the challenge of a lifetime…bands, air horns, banners, TV cameras, what a spectacle!
The camaraderie with fellow runners was incredible, learning about reasons they were running made the miles pass by like metres, even the cobble stones didn’t phase us initially but we knew it would get harder.
And harder it got.
Luckily my parents came along to offer support, we had studied the route and both knew we would need a boost around 19 miles, so my wonderful as they are, they eagerly waited at mile 19 with energy drinks and sweets to keep us going. I’m not sure if it was the sugar boost or their smiles and cheers which spurred us on further, either way we were both hugely grateful!
The pain started to set in around mile 21, hips and knees hurt like never before, I thought cobble stones were only an issue in stilettos…how wrong I was! We had heard that wine is given to runners at mile 25 perhaps to numb the joint pain we thought…however, this was our goal.
The penultimate miles were through forest, without any support from the crowds…this was tough..the distance you want to give up we thought the crowds would lift us, but no, however we had each other to keep us going. We knew one would not finish without the other, and no finishing was never an option.
We hobbled on and passed the wine, we could not face it. We were dreaming of cheese burgers at the finish line… and of course our medals.
The shouts and cheers of the crowd didn’t quite remove the pain from our joints. But the tears in our eyes were not of pain but of pride. My running pal Sophie Webster (left, above in picture) and I crossed the finish line at 4hours 18 mins hand in hand with tears running down our face and smiles that reflected so many emotions..relief, pride, joy, strength, friendship and of course exhaustion …we could now begin our hobbling hunt for that cheese burger.
And begin to confirm the four figure sums we raised for Ammalife.
+Ammalife raises cash to help maternity care in developing countiess and is officially backed by this website. It is run from Birmimgham Women’s Hospital.
This Saturday read how Sophie Webster (pictured with Amie) , will run 6 marathons in 6 months for the charity.