“I could never run that far” – a runner’s London Marathon story

Whether you are on the sidelines in London cheering on the runners, watching on television or running the Virgin Money London Marathon itself, the reasons people choose to take on the 26.2 miles stay with you long after the event itself. Samantha Lines shares her memories from last years London Marathon.

Samantha’s Story

The best part about the whole marathon journey, without sounding too cliché, has to be the day itself! It’s the day all the hard work comes together.

My husband had told me where he planned to be en route, the first place was Cutty Sark. I can remember him screaming my name and I got such a buzz from that moment, it really sunk in what I was doing.

The crowd never go away, supporters line the streets of London and you see it in a way you could never imagine.  The moment you start to feel tired, it only takes one person to shout your name – having spotted it on your vest – to give you that extra push you require.

It didn’t all run smoothly for me though, no pun intended. In the December I twisted my ankle and despite telling myself I would be back on my feet in a few days this was not the case. I was unable to run for the best part of a month and received regular physio. During this time I was missing out on vital training, so instead – I concentrated on the fundraising side of things to keep me motivated.


Running for a charity so close to my heart was incredibly motivating. I ran for MIND, fundraising for the charity and also raising awareness for mental health and encouraging others to speak up; not to hide or be ashamed of what they are going through.  I thought it would be difficult telling people about my personal battle with mental health, however I was overwhelmed with the support and willingness to help me reach my goal and target. It was the thought of all my supporters that got me through the cold and wintry training runs.

The best advice I would give someone who is running in 2018 is that you can do it any way you want to, whether that’s walking or running.

The most common thing I got told after completing the marathon was “I could never run that far”.  I met people the morning of the marathon that said exactly the same thing however – just like me – they did. Being a part of the Virgin Money London Marathon family will stay with you forever. Even if you do it just once, you will never be able to watch it on TV the same way, you will be forever proud of what you did.

Oh and one last thing… supporters and marshals will have tubs and tubs of jelly babies; you can never have too many!

We’re #RunningLondon with you

Virgin Money Giving will be hosting a whole load of Virgin Money London Marathon content for runners, fundraisers and fans. Check back for regular content between now and 22 April and don’t forget to keep an eye on our twitter and Facebook.