" You think that leaving at 5am would be early enough to get anywhere on time. "

Perhaps it wasn't the most auspicious way to start the day. Certainly it was not the way I had envisioned the morning of the day of my first ever marathon. I was willing to forgive the fact that I was being forced to rise slightly earlier than my body clock was used to since I had done the preparation - all 'runners feed bottles' filled with energy drink, tick. Orthotics in correct running shoes, tick. Breakfast in suitable container to be eaten in car, tick. Bag of necessities donated by friend, i.e. tissues, tissue salts, chocolate, tick. Clothes sitting on chair, ready to be thrown on, tick. What could possibly go wrong?


 You think that leaving at 5am would be early enough to get anywhere on time. So how was it, suddenly we were sitting in a traffic jam that was not moving. After listening to a short conversation between the other passengers, it seemed very much touch and go as to whether we would arrive in time for the 7am start. Strange things happen to ones brain at this point, it is too early in the morning to feel emotion, in which case, is it so bad if we miss the start, or indeed the whole race? Hmm, but I have put in the training, oh but its not fair if I'm cheated out of my first pre-marathon chats with other marathonees.


As luck would have it, after passing the offending truck which was artfully impaled onto the side of the highway, we screeched up to the start with two minutes to spare. With bags flying, I jump out of the car, a quick visit to the Porto sans during which I hear the loud voice of the megaphone; 'Please make your way to the start immediately, the race will start in one minute, I repeat..' Okay, okay, I understand! I rush to the start line, everything is quiet, people standing looking reflective. I realise that the founder of this particular marathon is giving a pep talk before setting us all off, unfortunately we at the back are unable to hear the much needed words of wisdom. Well, never mind, I've made it to the start! Quietly I close my eyes and join in with the feeling. I send up a prayer. Then suddenly there is sound and movement all around. I and all the runners start out race. I know not what to expect, but I do feel the excitement. Off I run and it feels good.


Dipika Smith