- 190 seed packets made for the event with courgette and sunflower seeds (took 5 hrs and some with the help of Alison - someone I randomly met!)
- Rec underwent a make-over.
- Other tyres and animals excited about London so they had a ballot and "mini-me" won, plus tigger, a seal, a dinosaur, a turtle, another tiger and a chameleon all got a ride through London.
- Gels and salt in bag ready for a hot day.
- Emergency supplies, in case all drinks stations are closed (as in 2009)
TG regretted putting chilli all over the pasta meal. It burnt her stomach and that meant it was going to be bad in the morning and it was! We stayed at a hotel a couple of miles from Greenwich along with many other runners. There was a buzz of excited anticipation at breakfast and TG chatted up several runners! Upon exiting the hotel, TG saw one of the runners (Scottish Derrick ) she had met at breakfast about to make his way to the tube. He happily helped TG carry me (Rec) to the blue zone! (Thank you Derrick - hope you had a brilliant race)
Of course the mandatory toilet stop had to be made along with thousands of others but TG's eyes caught a central fenced off area - "female urinals"! I (Rec) decided to hang out with a bunch of runners and listen to their excited chatters about their preparation. etc. whilst TG went to explore!
On entering, TG saw rows of bums facing rows of urinals and was amazed. Not wanting to watch, she harrassed one lady who was exiting as to how it was done.
...and off TG went to locate the "cardboard thingy". Eureka....and minutes later, TG was enjoying the space. In her own words that she shared with the runners I was hanging out with "So much better to air one's bum. You guys (think she was talking to the 2 fellas) have it so easy"
Embarrassed I moved TG on towards pen 9, our pen.
Amazingly we bumped into people TG knew.....ultra Kaz, Foxsake, Mr Tesco man.....In fact Mr Tesco man helped TG carry me to our pen and the 30 minute walk to the start line!
Whilst we were waiting for the start to begin, TG finally tries putting her backpack on for the first time after adding Chameleon to the show. Chameleon disapproves, not wanting to be blocked, and makes it difficult for TG to get her backpack on. Armed with a backup nylon rope, TG decides to tie her backpack onto poor ol bucket.
Urgh and I feel another 3 kg weight upon my treads - of extra food, extra drink, a rain mac (BBC weather predicted showers) and a light jacket in case it got cold. Perhaps a little OTT (over the top).
I feel nervous for TG about this last minute thought.
The first couple of miles were fantastic, the cheering crowd was deafening and TG handed out seed packets to unsuspecting supporters who were not sure of what she was giving!
0.5 miles in, a man is following TG picking up fallen coins from the ground that have missed bucket. As the noise of the crowd dies down, TG notices the tall runner saying "don't worry" to a supporter and TG hears a "ching-ching" in her bucket as he picks up more loose change that had missed bucket. She only then begins to feel the weight and thus the drag. This kind runner followed us until mile 2 picking up more coinage from supporters and placing it in bucket. (Big hugs to the kind runner who delayed his time to help TG who was unaware of anyone throwing coins into her bucket)
As bucket became weighed down with coinage, I could not help but press my worn treads further into the tarmac, slowing TG's pace. Although TG was expecting the EWGs to be at Mile 3, she called Uncle at mile 1.5 to see where he was.
He responded "miles away at Waterloo".
TG: "Ok, hopefully the Earthwatch gals will be waiting for me at mile 3 but please try to get here soon in case as it feels like I'm now dragging 20kgs"
Note: Rec weighed 10 kilos; bucket, bag and other minor additions weighed 3 kilos. At this point the main bulk of the coinage had brought her total dragging weight up to 20 kgs
TG yelled out: "Notes are okay"
Some spectators gave her 2 scottish one pound notes.
TG wanted to reach the finish line before the organisers took down everything. TG did not want to repeat being "lost" as in 2009 when Ted (her first trye) was weighed with coinage and no-one was there to relieve them of that coinage. She was more organised this year.....so she thought and as she neared mile 3, she looked around. There were more crowds.
Mile 3-6: A Call for Help
TG called out "Earthwatch are you there?"
The crowd looked at TG confused and although there was noise, TG heard silence!
TG called out again: "Errr.....this is for the animals, our forests, our oceans and Earthwatch are monitoring our impact. Support Earthwatch!"
She called out this cry, all the way from the crowd to the mile marker. Only applause followed and more money tossed into the bucket.
With a feeling of apprehension at no one being there, TG decided to call Uncle to see where he was.
"Sorry TG, am still miles away, maybe see you at mile 5"
"Ok please try to come sooner" - TG was now starting to sound a little desperate as flash backs of being lost in London marathon 2009 began to surface.
Having disconnected her call, TG noticed a missed call on her mobile. The EWGs had attempted to call her, but due to the noise of the crowd TG had not heard the call. A text message appeared on her phone, but that was always going to be impossible to read with a clear blue sky and full sunshine radiating down.
Excited TG attempted to call back.
TG: "Hey Laura - are you here? Have passed mile 3 and am heading towards mile 4"
Laura: "Oh no - you're much faster than we thought. We've missed you. We'll get on further upstream and try to catch up"
TG: "Oh.....okay......errr hope to see you guys soon" - TG attempted to sound happy.
Spectator calls out: "Keep going Tyregirl. Are you tired?"
TG: "Yes just call me TIRED Girl"
Another spectator: "You must be regretting this now"
TG: "Well this is my 19th marathon with a tyre and I've got 81 more after this one. There are no regrets!"
A couple more spectators repeated the same calls through to mile 6. TG must have looked tired and was glad she had sunglasses on as she did not want them to see her eyes of anguish. The thought of 2009 where all the signage had being taken down after mile 15 and being lost were playing in her head. So just after mile 4, TG put her backpack into her bucket to reduce coinage going in. It was then that she observed that the donkey (another runner and his crew) was still following her and taking advantage of the situation, collecting coinage people that would have gone in TG's bucket. Fair play to donkey, TG was happy another animal charity was benefiting and she certainly did not want any more coinage in her bucket! They followed us until mile 6.
Mile 5-6: Where is Uncle?
As TG reached mile 5, Uncle was no-where to be seen. She again called Uncle in distress. He tried to be calm and told TG he was moving as fast as he could to get there. TG was desperate to unload as visions of the finish line being dismantled now flashed before her. She tried to move faster.
By mile 6, TG's legs were burning and she begged Uncle to get here faster! She kept positive thoughts in her head to keep her going.
Mile 7: Unburdened
As mile marker loomed into view, TG called Uncle to see where he was.
Uncle: "Am still far away"
TG nearly cried at the thought and feebly responded "Really?" as energy drained from her.
Uncle: "Am just on the other side of mile 7"
In a snap instant TG's emotions changed: "Really?"
Buoyed by the thought of getting rid of the 7 kgs of coinage, TG put more effort to get to the looming mile marker. Soon Uncle came across the mile marker and TG's face lit up with total relief. Coinage unloaded, TG could now begin to move a little faster and motivated by the supporters from the flats encouraging her on: "Go go go Tyregirl!"
Soon after Laura called to tell TG they were at mile 11 and if she'd be okay to continue dragging the load until then. With a cheeky cheery reply TG said "no problem"......
The story continues with Part 2 next week as there is trouble ahead for TG!