The truth about running the London Marathon - and why I’m doing it again
- Credit: Supplied by Keata Wilby
She had reached her fundraising target by the time she stood on the start line but with all the money now collected Keata Wilby can confidently say she gave it 160pc.
The 22-year-old has smashed a £4,000 donation goal collecting £6,490 for the charity set up in memory of her 15-year-old sister, The Leah Wilby Foundation.She described it as an "amazing" experience helped by the cheering roar of the crowd, but also "draining" witnessing people fall, fail and vomit.
She said: "The support from the crowds along the route was absolutely unbelievable.
"Before I had even got to the first mile, I nearly broke down in tears due to the support from every single person shouting my name, little kids giving high fives, a man playing music from his balcony flat, signs and posters being held up, bands playing, people giving out sweets and so much more.
"The atmosphere is what gets you round.
"I could not stop smiling.
"One thing I would recommend - avoid using the toilets.
"Even though it's a wonderful feeling going around London with everyone cheering and the buzz from the crowd, there was some emotionally draining parts
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"An elderly gentleman fell and smashed his face on a pavement had to be taken away in a wheelchair covered in blood.
"Seeing him brought tears to my eyes after all the hard work he had put in was gone.
"I was running alongside a girl and could see that she was struggling, I stayed with her and encouraged her.
"A little bit further up her parents were waiting for her, she broke down crying as soon as she saw them.
"Around mile 18, I passed a girl who was being sick due to dehydration.
"Everyone cheered her on as they passed, to help encourage her.
"She carried on and completed the marathon, she had been sick from mile 14 until the very end.
"From roughly mile 20 until the turning before the finish line, I decided to quick walk because my feet were swollen up and I wanted to take in as much of the atmosphere as I could.
"Going past Buckingham palace and seeing the finish line in front of me hit me what I had just done in my sisters memory.
I tried to keep my emotions in but as soon as I crossed the finish line I started crying with happiness.
"One of the volunteers came up to me and said that it was ok to cry.
"I completed the marathon in 6hrs 32mins 45secs which is a personal best for me.
"Not even 24hrs after completing the marathon, when I woke up the next morning I applied to do the London Marathon again for next year.
"It may be hard, the pain may be unpleasant but it's all worth it in the end."