Looking smooth and on your game throughout the 26.2 miles is practically impossible…because of the PAIN! This is not necessarily a bad thing, just not so great for the photo. The pain can give you an energy, an edge, which works to drive you on. My pain was really making itself known at about mile 20 and stayed with me for a good few miles. At about mile 24, you go through the Blackfriars tunnel, which is a unique experience along the route. Once you enter the tunnel, all goes dark and strangely quiet because there are no supporters (not allowed). However there are a significant amount of motivational signs/phrases lining the tunnel on either side, which work effectively to recharge your mojo. Messages such as “pain is only temporary, 26.2 is forever” or “dig deep” help you find that inner warrior and true grit so that, as you exit the tunnel, you may be feeling the pain, but with a re-newed mental charge. This increased zing really worked for me and I was able to get my pace and my determination back on track. Along the “Home Stretch” the crowds are thick and fully engaged in their role as the primary driving force to get you to the finish line with a “spring” in your step. My support team was excellently positioned around mile 25 along the Embankment and seeing them, cheering wildly with beaming smiles, gave me a huge surge of energy that enabled me to really step it up. As I turned towards Buckingham Palace, I saw out of the corner of my eye, that just behind me was the pace maker runner with the 3:30 hours sign on his back. Seeing this, really powered me forward as I was determined to run this 26.2 in under 3 hours and 30 minutes. It was a certain kick for me and one that enabled me to “dig deep” and remember that yes, the pain was going to be temporary and so I powered through to the finish line, thankfully securing a finish time of 3:28 just within my goal.