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London Marathon, April 23rd 2006

In April, we highlighted Laura Spoor on the website, as she ran the London Marathon to raise funds for the charity “KIDS”.

Here is Laura's story ….

MY MARATHON!!

The months before…

Runing running running, I used to hate it but over the years have come to enjoy the feeling of getting out of the house and enjoying the feeling of it, so much so that I have decided to run the London marathon for charity, not a decision taken lightly, but one which provides such a huge challenge, and I can’t wait!

However, hours of training unfortunately brought to an end in January due to shinsplints (My flat feet are pulling the muscle on the inside of my shin which is extremely painful!).

There is still enough time to recover and take part and I am really enjoying my fundraising efforts for KIDS, the childrens’ charity that helps disabled children and their whole family with all aspects of life. They are quite a small charity so any money I raise will be well appreciated and hopefully make a real difference. This is what spurs me on.

The weeks before…

Shins splint still bad but have made the decision not to drop out. It was a hard one but I feel that so many people have sponsored me and I really want to try. Walking is not too painful and I have been working hard to maintain cardiovascular fitness, the shins won’t beat me yet! At best I will run, if painful I’ll walk, and at least I know I’ve tried, even if I have to drop out. KIDS have been very supportive and encouraging. My family and friends are behind me, as are all those at uni and back in Barford who have sponsored me!

The day before…

I travel to London docklands to register, collect my race number, 40 000 (what a wicked number!) and chip (to put on my shoe so that my time is registered). The place is huge, full of various stands for different sports companies and charities, there’s so much colour and noise and I find myself utterly bewildered by the whole thing. I suddenly realise the scale of the London marathon. I feel scared. It’s tomorrow.

Sunday morning; Marathon day!!

Phew! Didn’t get much sleep last night but I’m really excited! I also feel quite sick as it’s 5.50am and I need to get ready. Must eat some food even though it’s the last thing I feel like doing! I tape up my shins, hoping so much that they will serve me well today! Double check I have everything before setting off with my boyfriend Alex, who drives me to the start (Good job someone is there to make sure I get to the start as I cannot concentrate at all!!).

I line up on the start with all the other runners…There are many thoughts running in my head, lack of confidence at my injury, will I be able to make it? Have I trained enough? What will the weather be like? Will my friends come and meet me at the right places? EEEK! All of a sudden everyone surges forward, and we’re off!

All the way around the atmosphere is amazing, the crowds cheer and shout for us, bands are playing live music, the BBC cameras are there filming, everyone is smiling!

It’s a real high and I continue as I am, running then walking intermittently, to preserve my shins, and chat to others along the way, some in fancy dress, others carrying injuries like me, everyone enjoying the electric atmosphere.

I pass Cutty Sark at about 10km and on to my next landmark, Tower Bridge, which I actually cry as I run over because the river looks so beautiful and the encouragement of the crowds is overwhelming.

Mile 16 and my shins are hurting, I’m still running and I still feel quite good, but my body is starting to tell me it’s struggling a little. It’s just at this moment my two friends Nikki and Amy come into view and what a welcome sight! I hug them both and carry on as they shout “Come on Spoor!” at me”!!! I’m suddenly lifted up and back on top!

Mile 18-HIT THE WALL…big pain…one thing on my mind is keep going, you know you can do this, for yourself, for your family, and for the children. I put one foot in front of the other, and try not to think about the pain.

Mile 19 and my friends Nikki and Amy are with me again. This time they see that I am starting to really struggle so they jump over the barrier and run along with me for a few minutes, I can’t even tell them how much it means to me that they are there.

Mile 20-25…

Pain in shins is very very bad and have dropped down to a walk now, as my hips are also screaming at me. It has been raining for the whole thing, the crowds are dispersing slightly (they’ve been here as long as I’ve been running) and it is only now that I realise I am cold, and have been going for about 5 hours. I cry many times but I know I will never stop.

The last mile…

Knowing that I am near the end suddenly causes a huge transformation in me! I’m so happy again and I start running (almost as if the past few hours hadn’t happened!!)

I randomly pass a good friend who’s in the crowd which lifts me further, then my boyfriend and his dad, and I’m coming towards Buckingham Palace with everyone cheering like mad, so I speed up more and more! It’s amazing how the mind can override the body! I pass the finish line on an absolute high! I can’t believe it’s over and I did it!!

Someone puts a medal round my neck but I hardly notice, I’m a mixture of pure happiness and pain!

My body has now seized up completely, knowing now that it doesn’t need to “keep going!”, but thankfully my boyfriend and about six friends arrive to carry me to the nearest place for food and warmth…it’s over! (They brought champagne too…yay!).

What a rollercoaster of emotions, but the experience was amazing!

I have raised over £1500 for KIDS, and I’d like to thank Keith Roberts, Roger Braithwaite and many others in Barford and at Vet School in London, for their warm support and fundraising efforts. I definitely couldn’t have done it without their help!!

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