What was the best thing about being part of the London Marathon 2012? The atmosphere. I have done a few now and am always blown away by the kindness of strangers on the day. Little kids stand on the side of the road all day to give you sweets (that I'm pretty sure they would like to be eating themselves), while adults who’ve never met you before stand there cheering you on. It really is unbelievable and the crowds are what keep me doing it year after year. That and the medal at the end.
How did you feel at the start line? I was feeling good this year until the start gun went and then I felt very very nervous. I had been starting to doubt my training during the taper weeks and standing at that start line I wasn't sure I could even remember how to run a couple of steps, let alone 26.2 miles.
What was a high point for you; within the run itself or the whole Marathon experience? The high point for me was at around mile 19 when I realised that I was still on to hit my target time of sub-4.30. Also the crowds as you run around Canary Wharf are so loud - mixed in with the band playing under the DLR station it is almost deafening and really pushes you on when you most need it.
Was there a low point? Thankfully I didn't hit the wall this year, although I have done in the past and it felt like a dump truck had just driven over me. The low point for me this year was by far the sad news about Claire Squires death. It puts everything into context and I'm just so happy to have finished at all. My heart goes out to her family.
How did the day compare to your expectations? It is the best organised event you can take part in. The atmosphere could not be better. Yes, it does hurt running 26.2 miles and But it is worth it and no one can take that medal away from you. The day is always better than you expect, as long as you have put the training in to be able to enjoy it.
How did crossing the finish line feel? This was my fourth marathon and the other years my knee had blown up or I had got my fuelling wrong. But not this year. Four years after I set out on my mission I crossed the line in 4 hours 27 mins. I then let myself properly burst in to tears. Marathons are not just a physical journey but a mental one as well. The saying that the race only starts at mile 20 really is true. You just have to believe you can do it and you will (and the training helps).
Pain is temporary but glory lasts forever!