This was my first marathon and just like any other participant, I am pleased to have crossed the finishing line. It was tougher than I thought. Marathon is not just about physical fitness but also mental strength. It took me 3:45 to cross the finishing line!
But it is not about the clock, it is about the occasion. I have always known Brits to be kind people (I am married to one) but on Sunday, I saw something unique, something special that is worth talking about.
As I was running along 37,000 other people, I couldn't stop noticing the kindness of spectators. Families were handing out sweets, bananas, oranges and being very encouraging. It was nice hearing children cheering and shouting out names of competitors. It was a humbling experience.
Participants reminded me of how majority of people want to make a difference not just in their lives but on others too. Most people were running to raise awareness and resources to courses that they believed in. Before the race, I had a chat with a runner who was raising awareness of homelessness in London. He was very passionate and there is no better way of showing that than on a Marathon. I saw people running for Cancer UK, Oxfam, Action Aid, Farm Africa, Save the Children, and T-shirts written 'in memory of Boston' were difficult not to notice. It was emotional running with a black ribbon to honor the 2013 Boston Marathon.
This experience wouldn't have been complete without you; people who donated money to support our courses. Your kindness inspired us to participate on the London 2013 Marathon. I was running to raise money to support education of children through //http://www.childreach.org.uk/who-we-are/our-impact and I was touched by the response I got from friends. We are living in a world full of possibilities and I am very lucky and grateful to those friends whom through their kindness, made it possible for me to make it to the finishing line.
The Marathon organizers deserve a special mention. They were helpful, friendly and I can't recall seeing any working staff not smiling on that day. I thank you for making me want to do the Marathon again. It was nice seeing Sir Richard Branson at the finishing line shaking hands with the runners. That was powerful, sir!
To the lady who was carrying a baby and handed me a banana, we might never meet again, but I want to say thank you and I am grateful.
Whatever happened in Boston Marathon was appalling, and my heart goes to the families who lost their loved ones and to those who got injured. The first minute of silence before the race proved it all, Marathon is a community of humanity.
Having participated on this year's London Marathon for the first time, I can confidently say that without you, the spectators who always line along the track cheering and motivating runners, very few would be making it to the finishing line. So I thank you and salute you all.