After 7 (or is it 8?) consecutive years of entering the ballot in the spring and getting the 'Sorry' magazine in October I had resigned myself to waiting another year, and anyway I had already booked Paris on the assumption I wouldn't get a place. When I got my first London rejection, way back when I started running, I thought I'd look into running for a charity, but the fundraising total seemed eyewateringly high, so I discounted it as a viable way to get to run. I thought about getting a GFA (good for age) time, but let's face it my times aren't good for any age.
And then, this year, there was a glimmer of hope... My running club had 2 places for the club ballot and, as a one off, a draw was to be held for 2 people, who were prepared to find a charity place, to benefit from a sizeable fundraising pledge so that worrying about raising a huge some of money is reduced. I did a little mental maths. We have just over 100 members in the club, not all of them would want to enter the ballot for one of the 4 places. This was my best chance every to get to London!
Time passed. I got wrapped up in work - the end of term is alway stressful (and I have just remembered another admin task that I should be doing right now rather than typing this...). Then, on Monday, while year 8 were doing an end of topic test on 'Atoms and Elements' I sneakily checked my email on my 'phone.... An email to say that I had won a charity pledge! I smiled so much that one of the boys asked if I was OK! All I had to do now was secure a charity place.
I thought this would be easy.... after all, when you get the 'Sorry' magazine it is stuffed full of charities begging you to sign up to raise a squillion pounds for them. I checked the website. Charity after charity said that all their places had gone. I was beginning to panic. Then I decided to think local - there is a wonderful school for physically disabled children just up the road... I wondered if they had any places, so sent them an email. This was 9pm in the evening, so obviously I was going to have to wait for a reply.
I didn't have to wait long. During period 2, while my year 11s were working on their BTEC assignments, I noticed that I'd forgotten to turn the emails off on my 'phone (I normally don't get my email on my 'phone because it is annoying!) and decided that it wouldn't hurt to just flick through and see if there was anything interesting. I actually did a little dance when I saw the email confirming that they had a place for me. My yr11 are lovely and used to my eccentricities by now - but they do struggle to understand that anyone could be excited about the idea of running 26.2 miles!
So now the hard work begins! I still have a sizeable chunk of money to raise and I will be running 2 big city marathons 2 weeks apart. I'm not sure if I should look on London as an enjoyable recovery run after Paris, or regard Paris as my last long run before London. Running London seems far more overwhelming than Paris, even though there are fewer runners. It is going to be harder to get to the start line given the useless transport links on a Sunday morning. I guess I am going to have to start thinking about logistics pretty soon.
Huge thanks to Fetcheveryone Running Club and Treloar's for making my dream come true.