London Marathon 2014 – Mission Accomplished

London Marathon 2014 - Blue startThe months of training were over and the tapering period had got my legs itching for the off. So on a sunny spring morning I made my way to Greenwich and to the start of 26.2 miles that make up the London Marathon. I arrived at the Blue start with plenty of time to spare, time to relax and to fight off the nerves!

thousands of runners waiting for the start

I started quite far back, crossing the start line over six minutes after the hooter had blown for the start of the race. There were lots of people around me but it was not the sardine tin that I’d half expected and I managed to run at a good pace from the off, navigating a route through the slower runners by staying close to the kerb and keeping an eye out for free space along the route.

I ran with my pocket camera and so managed to take a few shots on the way around, you’ll notice that this activity stopped at around half way, when the real business of marathon running started.

A selfie as I crossed the start line

A selfie as I crossed the start line – only 26.2 miles to go!

First celebrity picture of the day, during the first mile I ran past Bagpuss

First celebrity picture of the day, during the first mile I ran past Bagpuss

It looks like I ran into a bit of traffic on the approach to Mile 4

It looks like I ran into a bit of traffic on the approach to Mile 4

Another selfie at Mile 4 - still looking fresh and composed despite the blue sky and spring sunshine

Another selfie at Mile 4 – still looking fresh and composed despite the blue sky and spring sunshine

Somewhere around mile 6 Alfie the guide dog

Somewhere around mile 6 I came across a fellow guide dogs fund raiser – Alfie the guide dog was on good form but I bet it was hot under all of that fur

Another shot of me running along side Alfie the guide dog

Another shot of me running along side Alfie the guide dog

One way to see whose running behind you is to take a selfie - looks like number x4080 was happy to smile for the camera

One way to see whose running behind you is to take a selfie – looks like number x4080 was happy to smile for the camera

Approaching the Cutty Sark in Greenwich

Approaching the Cutty Sark in Greenwich

Bumped into another Guide Dogs Runner, Steve.  Or should that be Lady Gaga

Bumped into another Guide Dogs Runner, Steve. Or should that be Lady Gaga

Around mile 11 I came across this fella dribbling a football along the whole marathon course.  It looks like he had good ball control but I don't know what he did on the down hill sections

Around mile 11 I came across this fella dribbling a football along the whole marathon course. It looks like he had good ball control but I don’t know what he did on the down hill sections

First Glimpse of the land marks of the city of London - through the tees is the Shard

First Glimpse of the land marks of the city of London – through the tees is the Shard

Around Mile 12 I ran past the official Guide Dogs supporters zone and got a great cheer - unfortunately I didn't have the camera ready in time so the only shot of them is about 25m behind me

Around Mile 12 I ran past the official Guide Dogs supporters zone and got a great cheer – unfortunately I didn’t have the camera ready in time so the only shot of them is about 25m behind me

Perhaps the most iconic stretch of the London Marathon - Tower Bridge.  Amazing feeling

Perhaps the most iconic stretch of the London Marathon – Tower Bridge. Amazing feeling

It had to be done - a selfie on Tower Bridge

It had to be done – a selfie on Tower Bridge

And so, just before half way the film ran out on my camera (or something like that). It was time to concentrate on getting round the hard section of the course, the second half!

However, I did find another roll just before the finish:

Almost there, turn left to visit the Queen, turn right to collect a medal

Almost there, turn left to visit the Queen, turn right to collect a medal

Not the best quality photo due to the camera staring straight at the sun but the content certainly looks good to me

Not the best quality photo due to the camera staring straight at the sun but the content certainly looks good to me

About to cross the line with the official clock having just rolled over the 4 hour mark - but with me not starting until 6 minutes after the gun fired I had plenty of time to make my goal of a sub 4 hour marathon

About to cross the line with the official clock having just rolled over the 4 hour mark – but with me not starting until 6 minutes after the gun fired I had plenty of time to make my goal of a sub 4 hour marathon

Once again, the photo quality isn't great but the relief that I felt at this point was huge

Once again, the photo quality isn’t great but the relief that I felt at this point was huge

Anybody for a medal - still plenty left

Anybody for a medal – still plenty left

A proud moment

A proud moment

At the Guide Dogs reception after the marathon

At the Guide Dogs reception after the marathon

Celebrating my achievement with my main support team

Celebrating my achievement with my main support team