The anticipation and excitement prior to the starting gun was fantastic. Months of training and preparation was all coming to a head. This was it.
Race day was perfect. My wonderfully supportive wife and children waved goodbye to me from our London hotel and The Running Stormtrooper caught the train to the area where the runners had to gather prior to the 10am start time. It was now or never.
The anticipation and excitement prior to the starting gun was fantastic. Months of training and preparation was all coming to a head. This was it. At 10am the gun was fired and armed with a fistful of Shot Blok energy sweets I set off! The first half of the marathon was fairly good going for me. My pace was reasonable and I felt fit. I wasn’t going for a fast time, I just wanted to complete it, but have fun at the same time. I spent half of the time waving and hive giving all of the kids who were watching.
I got to the 17 mile point and all was still ok. The ‘wall’ never really hit me but I do remember thinking less about waving but more about each and every pace. Praying that my legs would stay strong, as every now and then I saw other runners succumb to cramp or injury. The miles seemed to stretch out, however I now appreciate that my pace had dropped significantly from my first 13 miles. Maybe I started off too quick, who knows? What was also going through my head is that so far I hadn’t seen my wife and children who had planned to meet me at strategic points around the course. Whilst disappointing for me I knew that if they had missed me they would be equally if not more disappointed.
To hear them yell my name at 3 different locations from the 18 mile point was such a fantastic lift. It appears that they (and friends) had got to the 7 mile point but I had already run through. I can’t remember much else about the last few miles. I just focused on running.
Crossing the finish line and being reunited with my family was amazing. I had done it. I had run a marathon in a costume which was certainly not designed for mobility and I managed to do it in a time of 5 hrs and 26 seconds.
After the 2016 London Marathon
This was the Facebook post I made the following day
“I am sure you are aware by now that i've done it. I managed to complete the 2016 London Marathon in 5Hrs 00 Minutes and 26 seconds. I am absolutely delighted with both the support you have all given me and the money which together we have been able to raise for Make A Wish UK. It's truly unbelievable.
This whole experience has been amazing.
I must thank, Mark Newbold for putting me in touch with Steve Buckley, who loaned me the armour/costume, you guys rock. I must also thank my dear wife Jules, who has again put up with me whilst i've gone off on another hair brained idea. Without her support, I'd really struggle. As it stands I am now well over my initial target of £2K, my just giving page is hovering around the £4700 mark. What would be ace, is if you could all have one final push and share the ass out of this page and my just giving site and help push us over £5K. I promise I won't charity mug any of you for at least 12 months. I Pinky promise. I managed to go to work this morning. My legs are ok, but every fibre/muscle in my chest aches from wearing the armour, but I'll be fine by the weekend. Thanks once again, what we've achieved this year, together has really made a difference to children and young adults who are fighting life threatening illnesses, and there can't be many charities and causes better than that.”
Things settled down fairly quickly and my life returned to normal. The costume was cleaned extremely well and returned to Steve Buckley. The just giving page continued to receive sponsorship, finally closing with a grand total of £5335 plus over £800 in gift aid, therefore we all managed to raise over £6K for Make A Wish. The final part of the story was when Mark Newbold contacted me in July 2016 informing me that he had written an article for starwars.com http://www.starwars.com/news/bad-guy-does-good-jez-allinson-on-running-the-london-marathon-in-full-stormtrooper-armor
So that was it, Mark helped start this, and he rounded it off perfectly.