A marathon story you really need to read

Here’s the marathon story of an ex Colchester Harrier, Tom Cutts, who competed for the club as a teenager in the noughties.  I’m sure some of you will remember Tom, an excellent javelin thrower with a good turn of speed over 400m.

The marathon was on Sunday but why has Tom not posted on Facebook, after all he loves to post. Well it’s been a tough time for Tom the last few days and it will be for a few more! So in Tom’s word here we go…

6:36:07.  If you know me I’m competitive, I had already lowered my target due to my injuries/MS mishaps but this was nearly two and a half hours longer than my new target.  I was disappointed. Now I’m really proud of the time.  Lots of people have asked if everything was OK.  It wasn’t, here’s why.

10.1 miles left to go, I’m OK.  Legs starting to hurt. I dropped my starburst so need some energy, but I can cope with that.  People everywhere like we’re all running away from our parents after doing something naughty, but it’s all good!

With 10 miles left to run a different story begins, not the “Wall” but Mount Everest to scale!

My sudden stitches changed to searing stomach pain, my enthusiasm is gone, my worries begin. I’m running, I’m walking, I’m crying. Repeat. The family saw me like this so they knew something was up, but the squad see me with my mask on and enjoying life!

Ash and Chris help me over the next mile or two but with nearly eight miles left I couldn’t do it anymore.

These eight miles were one of the hardest mental and physical challenges (one I probably should have stopped at ASAP) of my life so far. The new repeat of walk 300 yards, stop, squat down to relieve pain (sometimes crying), go again was on the cards.
Eight miles of this and this hurts BAD.  The last kilometre and Ross’ hand comes round me to support me to the end. He wasn’t scared of my foil look and wasn’t taking the “I’m OK,  don’t worry, keep going” chat, the same as Ash and Chris wouldn’t. We walked to the end (eventually) and crossed that line. Now get me to the doctor’s tent.

1 Ambulance,

2 A&E trips,

3 beds (plus 36 hours),

4 I was out!

Apparently I had something called rhabdomyolysis. All I knew was something wasn’t right with my pancreas. Turns out rhabdomyolysis is where the muscle fibres breakdown or are destroyed and leak into the bloodstream. It’s pretty serious but thankfully everything went OK and after the worst pain of my life, one part of my pancreas levels finally lowers and I can go home.  Physically no food for nearly a day and the marathon helped to contribute to my 13lb lose in weight.  My body is tired from it all, physically nowhere near mended inside and the mental side of things are a different story – we’ll leave that bit there.

So what have I learnt?  The London Marathon, the spectators and the runners are equally amazing, and it’s where you’ll make new friends for a life time and more. Rhabdomyolysis is not a nice thing to have, having been (currently I guess) through it and it’s a battle, I’m definitely qualified to say this. Finally, nothing will stop me from crossing that line, getting that medal, and not letting myself or anyone else down (they’d argue I wouldn’t have anyway!).

At the end of the day all of you have helped me to raise a fantastic amount for MS-UK. There is still over a month to go before fundraising ends though so if anyone is feeling that they’d like to make a donation then please find my fundraising page below and help me raise as much money as I can for them!