6.25am Wake up in cold sweat following nightmare about running down
an endless road.
6.45am Ignoring failure to train properly, suddenly get professional and
knock up a bowl of pasta and energy drink. Select most comfortable
7.45am Get on veal-train to Greenwich along with thousands of punters in
shiny clothes. Woman with feathers in her hair tells me not to look
worried. ’Look you patronising fruitcake ...’ I start, before
apologising, muttering something about pre-race nerves and ducking under
the legs of a shoeless Gurkha. Feel odd.
8.45am Smother bits in petroleum jelly, drink more energy gunk.
9.30am Gun goes off, and everyone immediately stands still.
10am Finally cross start-line. First ten miles strangely pleasant. Lots
of banter, lycra-clad bottoms and dodgy sound systems.
11am Still no sign of media bods such as Western’s Pru Parkinson - she
later explains this was ’just a training run’ for her, and that she was
in front of me the whole way - but I pass Capital’s ’Dr Fox’. Bizarrely,
some fans are screaming his name. I’m starting to feel bitter - probably
nicotine withdrawal - so I offer some discouragement to Foxy’s
12pm Pass a Jimmy Saville, two Elvises, three black rhino and a couple
of wombles. Feel better for that, although later find out I was beaten
by a rhino, a Nelson Mandela and a turkey. Reach 19-mile mark and crowd
shouts some crap to the effect that we’re nearly there.
1.45pm Things take a wobble for the worse around 24-mile mark.
Shuffle-jog turns into a walk. A 17-minute mile.
2.15pm Muster a sprint for the line. Four hours and 15 minutes on the
watch. Find doctor friend and drag him off for pints .