Monday, 26 April 2010

A Marathon of Memories

Mr Darling Eileen

Yesterday was the London Marathon and, as always, I recorded the 'Highlights' so I could view it later in the evening. 

Watching it, this time on my own, I could not help remembering how often we would watch it together, even as recently as this time last year, when you were doing so well.

This year was the thirtieth anniversary of the race.  It took me right back to the memory of following that first race, way back in 1981 when we were living in Holland.

Back in the UK in Guiseley, the race always seemed to coincide with a Sunday when we were working together getting the garden in shape. But we always made a point of catching the highlights later that evening.

Nevertheless, in spite of the buzz and lift we got from seeing all those people pushing themselves running for charity, the London Marathon always seemed to remain at arms length.  Exciting but somehow remote. 

Things changed in 1998.

That was the year Adrian completed the race...

Do you remember that?  We drove down from Yorkshire, met up with Charlotte and made our way to the Embankment.  We watched our for Adrian for ages, got soaked by a shower of rain and then spotted Adrian running towards. Then he was gone with just a backward wave of acknowledgement. 

Sadly we had no arrangements to meet up and so we headed home.  At least we were able to congratulate him by phone later that evening.    

Then in 2003 Ivan entered and completed the marathon, having already run it previously some years before we knew him...

Once again we had someone we knew to cheer on.  It made the race all the more enjoyable.

Seem to remember that when we first moved down here, we travelled up and watch the race even though this time we did not know anybody who was running.  The spectacle and excitement of the race were sufficient reasons still for making the journey.

Then in 2006 as you'll remember, Adrian decided to run the marathon again. 

The evening before the race there was much pressure from him about wanting to know precisely where we would all be on the course.

The next day, the reason became clear to us and particularly to Nikki.  

When he spotted us he stopped running and came over.  On the front of his vest were the words of his proposal asking Nikki to marry him...

His proposal accepted by Nikki, he carried on with the race. 

This time we had arranged to meet up at the finish, a more appropriate place to offer our congratulations to Nikki and Adrian on getting engaged - and to Adrian for completing his second London Marathon.    

I will never forget the buzz of achievement, exhilaration and excitement you always got from completing your own fun runs... 

Who knows, if we had started years ago, we could have helped you complete your own London Marathon - and I would have been so so proud of you.  

You certainly had the steely determination and bravery in abundance - as you proved over and over again, during the last months of your life.

Do miss you so.  Am pretty lost at times without you.

Yours for ever,