London Marathon – 23rd April 2023

Lisa Donaldson:

Well, where do I begin…? I can say I have completed the London Marathon, woohoo, and what an achievement that is considering I never thought I would run a marathon at all, to running my first one back in 2022 to nab a good for age which got me my place in the London, I was already buzzing.

All the thoughts you get before a race, how should I start quicker, slower, pick it, just go with it? Edging closer to starting then, boom off you go and it hit me, just enjoy it and see what happens what will be will be. The atmosphere is unreal, the kids on the side high fiveing, the shouts from people and support can’t beat it didn’t even notice the rain until it stopped and I got too warm haha.

Gradually getting into my stride and loving it. I then seeing Laura ahead of me and thought fab I can say hi, looking at my watch and we were just under 6 mile in, I couldn’t believe it felt great. I then got a message off Adam to say he was on Tower Bridge and I knew that was just under half way so that got me focused on getting to him and before I knew it I was there and with a quick cheeky kiss off I went, then thinking well I will see him at the end….not long now.

It did get congested in some parts when it went from a double road to a single road and once your legs stop turning it is quite hard to get them going again but you have a quiet word with yourself, and all is good. From past experience I was dreading getting to mile 16 as that’s where it hit me last time, next thing I know I’m at mile 22 and still feeling pretty good, took the advice of not looking at the watch and it defo paid off!!

BUT mile 22! Come on its only 4 mile…. Then I get a message off my sister-in-law “we are waiting for you at Big Ben”!! Next focus was to get to them. My Brother, sister in law and 2 nieces. I’m searching for Big Ben and I see it ….miles away haha! but that’s what kept me pushing to there and I seen them which was such an uplift. 25.5 miles in and I see Adam again at the finish and that feeling of I’m at the end “nearly” I’ve done it, last push. I looked at my watch and notice I have actually only gone and bagged myself a PB with a stronger finish then last time which was my aim, I couldn’t believe it.

Everyone done amazing that day in London and congratulations to our fabulous Crook AC runners flying our colours in the big Capital, you done yourselves proud and the Club, well done!!!

Sam Beckett – 2:45:06
Joanna Beckett – 3:12:40
Lisa Donaldson – 3:33:05
Laura Newby-Higginbottom – 4:02:42


Laura Newby-Higginbottom:

From the moment I got allocated the club place for the London Marathon, I was determined to give it my best shot. I downloaded a 17 week training plan and it started off quite steady but as the weeks went on it became more challenging. Not just as the miles lifted but because life is so busy anyway with three children. The support I had from Lee and my Mam throughout the training was impeccable. I couldn’t have done the training or the Marathon without either of them.

It was the first time I have ever used a training programme and it sure did make the training more productive, fun and worthwhile. I pushed myself harder than I would have without it and I felt that I had already accomplished so much in the training itself before I even got to London. Any of you that know me, will know I avoid hills at all costs, but not this time – I was running up and down them like a mad woman. I also did 9 miles straight on a treadmill which is unheard of for me. I achieved a mile PB on a training run (not planned) all because of the programme and sticking with it.

The road trip to London with Lee, Adam and Lisa was fun! Adam did amazing coordinating us all and getting us to where we needed to be. We were like three little ducks following him around London at times haha. The Excel centre had a real buzz. I was nervous and excited at the same time when I saw so many runners and I pretty much stayed like that until I crossed the start line the following morning.

What can I say about the London Marathon, well…. It’s the best marathon in the world! It was an amazing feeling having the honour to run this race for the Club and I wanted to soak in the atmosphere and create memories while I did it. It was lovely seeing Lisa at mile 5, we ran a mile together before losing each other in the waves of runners. My favourite part of the Marathon was Canary Wharf and I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the size of the buildings as I was passing through. Tower Bridge was also epic and even though I had two top spectators (Lee/Adam) cheering me on at this point I didn’t even see or hear them in the vast crowds of people.

I just had the best time running the London marathon. Although hitting a mental wall a couple times I was able to get myself back on track, reminding myself how lucky I was to be running London. I did get cramp in both my calfs / feet about mile 20, which I wasn’t expecting. I have never had it before while running but luckily I was able to keep going, just not pick up the pace where I planned. At this point I was just happy not to be feeling the same pain I had last year running the Manchester marathon, so just got on with it and accepted that I was doing the best I could.

My ultimate goal at London was to run the full 26.2 without stopping and enjoy the electric atmosphere. I did this and was over the moon to get a chip time of 4:02.46 which is a 5 minute PB (Strava time 4h 26 secs). Although it would have been the icing on the cake to hit a sub 4, London was amazing and I ran it my way which is more important.

Super well done to the speedy crew who flew around the Capital and made it look effortless (Sam, Joanna and Lisa). You all smashed the training and did remarkably on the day. Well done and enjoy the well deserved rest.

Finally I just want to say a HUGE thank you to the Club for giving me this opportunity which I will never forget. Thanks to Gerry for sorting out my legs before and after. Thanks to all of you amazing people I run with, you are all just awesome! Now time for a little rest before Sunderland Half Marathon and NEMAA.