Post-Race Report on Cherry Lodge’s 2018 London Marathon Runners

Cherry Lodge Cancer Care had six successful runners in the 2018 London Marathon: Dee Churchill;  Emily Cole;  Mandy Gould;  Dominic Holmes;  Agnes McGarvey and Mike Todd. (Clicking on one of the names in blue will take you to that runner’s online fundraising page, which will stay open for a month after the event.)

The, by now, almost statutory, post-marathon massage evening, small welcome event and photoshoot for Cherry Lodge London Marathon runners took place on Monday 23rd April at Howard House. All this year’s runners apart from Dominic were able to attend. Many thanks to the three therapists – Andi, Loretta and Prasanna – who gave their services to the still aching runners.

Some of the runners had already met two days before the run, at Prezzo Restaurant as Cherry Lodge’s guests. Dee, Emily and Mandy greeted each other like long lost friends who were clearly delighted that they had all completed the gruellingly hot London Marathon. Agnes and Mike had not met ahead of the event day, nor had they seen each other before, during or immediately after the run, which was perhaps surprising as all our runners had consecutive running numbers.

Several comments were made, and agreed with, by all present: too many people; far too hot and humid; not enough shade; the showers (hand-held ones!) were heaven sent; you don’t want to see my toes; the huge and hugely enthusiastic crowds were just amazing.

Mandy, who had a very distressing 2017 marathon attempt, completed the course this year in 4hr 13min and was very happy indeed with her strategy for success in 2018. She walked from mile 20-21 as her legs were hurting badly and she had blisters on her toe. By good fortune, Mandy was the winner of the two Grandstand seats raffled at last week’s Prezzo meal and her family really enjoyed watching the action from their elevated position.

Emily (whose mother Sally is one of Cherry Lodge’s much valued receptionists) found her first marathon an amazing experience and, once the pain had subsided, a truly inspiring and wonderful event. Miles 18-20 felt almost impossible but ‘the crowd virtually carried me’. She completed in 3hr 59min.

This was Agnes McGarvey’s sixth marathon and she described it as ‘tough, very tough’! Agnes’ 3hr 48min was helped, she thought, by the newly organised ‘Wave Start’ at Greenwich, which considerably reduced the actual starting time at the almost infamous bottle neck at the start of the race. Agnes, a keen spinner and worker with weights in the gym, was very disappointed that an App on her husband’s mobile let them both down and he failed to see her on the course. She put that down to a misadventure!

Dee ran a most respectable 4hr 39 min. She was well supported by husband John (a CL member) who had run the Brighton Marathon two weeks earlier and gave this one a miss. Dee admitted that ‘me and hot weather don’t go together’ and it was a struggle for her. She most definitely wants to run another marathon as ‘I know I can do better’. Dee’s advice to runners had been: avoid getting cold water on your legs as it will give you cramp! She certainly observed many people succumbing to cramp during the run.

Mike, who had only just returned from a holiday in South Africa celebrating his 50th birthday, finished in 5hr 40min and found it exceedingly hard going: ‘a huge effort but well worth doing’. He saw his wife at Bermondsey at 11 miles and found the crowd immensely encouraging when, at Tower Bridge, he felt he could not go on. But he did and was thrilled with the experience. On reflection, Mike thought that the long flight back from South Africa the day before had not been such a good idea.

We did not see Dominic at our post-race event, but the official results page tells us he completed the run in 4hr 45sec.

All in all this was a fantastic effort from all our runners, who put themselves, for all sorts of reasons, through this ordeal to raise much needed money for Cherry Lodge. Please sponsor them, if you haven’t done so already. Three cheers, three very loud ones!

Once again, we send a huge thank you to everybody involved with this, the 38th London Marathon.

Click on the small images below to see larger, complete photographs.