So how was it for you? Part 1 - Pre-race

So how was it for you? Part 1 - Pre-race

About 28 hours ago I crossed the London Marathon finish line having covered the full 26.2 mile course, accomplishing something I first decided I wanted to do when I was about 12 years old. Now I face an even bigger challenge... Describe the experience in an accessible, not too lengthy, lighthearted and enjoyable to read blog post. I'll give it a go!

I don't think when 12 year-old me dreamed of doing the London Marathon he could have imagined how it would ultimately happen, and certainly not what he would have to endure to get there. But trying to predict a path through life is a fool's game and I think he would have been amazed to learn he possessed that kind of courage and determination.

Yesterday began with a wake up from my night carer Rudo at 0530, which is silly early even if you don't live with MND. Washed, nappy on, transferred, 11 items of clothing later - dressed, and driven to my van ready to head to the start by 0715. All to plan so far.

Internally I'm aware of two things. Firstly I can feel a slight secretion in my chest, which could be indicative of the need to use my cough assist before the race, which is possible but not ideal. More worryingly, my overnight ventilation seems to have massively dried out my nasal passages and my sinuses (a very occasional occurrence). My ventilators in-breath is now temperamentally causing my nasal passages to seal together, severely shortening my breath... this definitely wasn't in the script.

The solution is always to relax (which is a bit more difficult than usual today) and get some extra hydration onboard as soon as possible. I tell day carer Dani what's going on and we sort the hydration out, then I do my best to apply maximum chill mode on the way to the start. I'm well aware though that if things don't improve, I won't be doing this today.

We get parked (in the wrong place apparently) and after a few minutes to chill we get me transferred to the race chair. This is always a bit of a faff because it's important to get right, but after about 15 minutes or so Dani, Dad and Live-in carer Alex have got me properly comfy and warming nicely.

We head to our start area and I say goodbye to Dad, Alex and my mate Eddie, who got up at 0400 to drive the support van, legend. I'm still not sure if I'm starting.

Make our way to our start area which takes a few minutes more than it should have done, get parked up in a bit of space and wait for our wave to open. I'm needing quite a lot of suction due to salivating excessively (normal). Then during one of these suctionings the moment I'd hoped for happens... Hydration has reached critical mass and my nose clears in one disgusting slimy green lump. It's also settled my chest down and I give Dani a little smile, I'm ready to do this!

Just before we head to our pen I've asked my amazing step brother Tom to read a few words I've written to the team. After that it's off to the start and away we go. Read the words Tom read below, and my story of the race in my next post.

If you feel inspired to help us fund more vital research, you can donate here.

Thank you so much for reading.

Sam x

"At the end of last years event I did not think that being here today would be possible. To even be here is a huge accomplishment, and we stand on the shoulders of all those people who's hard work and sacrifice has delivered us to this moment.

So as we move forward today around this event and experience its unique atmosphere, I will endeavour to take a moment regularly and think about those people.

Let's appreciate this opportunity, this chance to be a part of one of the greatest displays of the human spirit on earth. All the time remembering that our participation is the biggest achievement today. Today we will face success and failure, and treat those two imposters just the same.

So let us go now and savour every moment. Thanks to you my incredible team and friends. I love you all"

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