My earliest memory of the London Marathon was having it on in the background at the weekend, back when it was sponsored by Flora and Paula Radcliffe was the name on everybody’s lips. I say everybody, I’m not sure I was too aware of the media at that age but my mum certainly liked her and that was good enough for me. From the record setting highs to the heart breaking lows Paula Radcliffe seems to have always dealt with everything with the utmost grace and perseverance (that moment in the 2005 London Marathon aside). Her brave and determined spirit is what running the London Marathon is really all about for me.
So, when I was mysteriously tweeted by her back in April I was completely astonished and over the moon. This was the sort of thing that would make the wall of the downstairs loo if my parents understood what Twitter meant! It formed a lovely memory of a very complex marathon experience.
However, I was reminded of it a few weeks ago when I got a mystery parcel through the post. Initially wondering if I’d been online shopping in my sleep, I had forgotten that Nike had requested my address months and months ago.
Inside was a note from Nike, a signed insole from Paula herself and my own pair of Paula Radcliffe Nike Zoom Elite 7s. This was a real money can’t buy reward! They’re bright red, have a Union flag on the tongue and inside one they complete Nike’s famous Just Do It with Just Do It Paula, with her staggering world record time 2:15:25 on the other shoe.
I’m not the sort of person to keep things pristine and gathering dust, so naturally I took them out for a spin the next day. I used to be a big fan of lightweight trainers and Nike Frees, and for knocking out a speed session or PB I still am. However, since the marathon I’ve really appreciated the support of a slightly heavier shoe and am lucky enough to have the option of running in my Vomeros, Pegasus and now my Elites. If you’re looking for a supportive shoe that doesn’t feel too heavy on the feet then I really recommend the Nike Zoom series.
Thank you so much to Nike for my wonderful gift. I’m incredibly lucky that the hard work I put into last year’s London Marathon has been recognised like this, and I know they will be an extra source of motivation when I’m training for London 2016!