I was supposed to write this post a few weeks ago but somehow I didn’t manage to do it.
I’m part of a fair few running groups on Facebook , some of better than others but all is good to learn and get information.
A few weeks ago I came across a post on the “World Marathon Majors ” Facebook group. A lovely lady shared it that there will be an open event at the New Balance flagship store in Oxford street , London.
It’s not just a simple open evening , at the end of the night they’ll draw out 5 people who gets a spot in next years London marathon.
I wasn’t really sure to go or not to go. Mainly because it was on a Wednesday and didn’t finish till 9pm and by the time I’d get back home it will be close to midnight, and I have to wake up to go to work at 4.20am.
But after thinking about it for a bit I realised I only loose out on it if I don’t go. Luckily I travel to London for free so this can be a little day out. Also I can live on coffee on the following morning.
I wasn’t sure how many people will be there , or even if I have any chance to win a spot. But my motto was if I never try I never will know.
I already got my refusal lottery email from London so this was just an extra opportunity. I’ve run the race in 2017 via a charity so I really wasn’t under any pressure to get in.
Also have to say they I never met or know anyone who won anything like this before. I always thought that these kind of prices will go to a friend of a friend of the organiser etc.
I’ve got up to the New Balance store just after 7pm. There was a DJ, security personnel and also many many staff member around.
I straight away started to queue up to sign up to the competition. It wasn’t a big queue just about 6-7 people in front of me.
The sign up form was an an iPad and then also been told that I don’t need to wait till 8:45pm when they announce the winners. I can go home and if I’m lucky enough I’ll get an email.
After signing up I’ve decided to walk around and see what else is on.
After walking down to the bottom floor they already started the nutrition talk with Anita. I’ve met with her in 2017 when I attended the Meet the Experts session in London.
I think it was a really informative session. Specially for newbie marathon runners.
This was only a short talk about nutrition. After her talk staff members started handing out goodie bags for everyone who was down there.
I was really pleased with it. I mean who doesn’t love a free goodie bag ?
After the talk I started to wonder around to see the merchandise. There was so much stuff there and it’s so hard not to buy something. Anyway what would I buy a race item when I’m not even running that race ?
When I go to the top floor they started getting ready for a race Q&A with a celebrity. The special guest turned out to be Joel Dommett. He’s a comedian and also a presenter for the I’m a celebrity …’s Extra Camp.
This Q&A was more like about how he tackled the race and also how he managed to do all his training due to his crazy work schedule. But he also give some tips for first timers.
When he’s talk finished we still had plenty of time till the winners announcements.
Just a few photos of the 2019’s merchandise:
Also managed to bump in one of my “Instagram ” friend, Ruth. We had a good chat. It’s always feels so weird to talk with someone who you follow on social media. But when you meet up you have no idea what to talk about 😀
Then the time arrived. We all assembled at the ground floor , and waited for the announcements.Then the guy started to announce the winners.
Our first winner is … Gabriella ….
// OMG I don’t know any other Gabriella ‘s, it’s not a common name in England, maybe it’s me. But who knows. //
…Gabriella Waller !!!
OMFG I’ve WON. I never in my life won anything like that. I never got drawn out in the lotteries , never won on starch cards. But today I won.
Probably I looked like and idiot , I just couldn’t stop smiling. OMG.
Then the announcer said the other 4 winners. It turns out I was the only one who stayed there. They others went home.
I really wasn’t planning to run London next year , but now I’m in. I can’t believe it.
It will be a hard one , mainly because I’m running Boston 1.5 weeks before London. But I know well I can do this.
I’ve decided that London will be a fun and happy run. By that time I should be a 6 star finisher so I can totally enjoy London. I’ve tried my marathon journey there in 2017 and now I can finish it in 2019.
A few days later I’ve received my confirmation email about winning it. So then it sank in , that I really won it. Not just dreamt about it.
Then a few days later my new pair of New Balance shoes arrived:
Also I decided to do something crazy. I’ll attempt to do a Guinness World Record in London. I can’t tell you much about it because I don’t want others to do it before me. According to their data base no one done this before so hopefully that stays like that. The deadline to apply for it is in February, after that I’ll be able to announce it. Fingers cross it will work out.
And from now on I’ll apply every single competition I see. Because there’s a chance. Also real people win these things.