I've never run a marathon before. I've never wanted to run a marathon before. So what made me decide to do it now?

In April 2012 my friend Emily died, aged 29. It was in her sleep, due to complications arising from Type 1 diabetes; it was completely unexpected. She will be missed so much by so many people. As I type this I don't think a day has gone by when I haven't thought about her and the things we did, the things we were planning to do - and the things we never got to do. 

I knew Em for more than ten years. One of the most impressive things about Em was that she never stopped pushing herself. When she succeeded in one challenge, she set herself another one. Academically, physically, emotionally, she never stopped; she always had another goal in mind. It made the rest of us feel positively lazy. 

Em took up running a few years ago, starting with 5k runs, then 10k races, then half-marathons. The next challenge she set herself was to run a full marathon. She trained for it and she got a place in the 2012 London Marathon, running for Diabetes UK. I was looking forward to being there to cheer her on. I had absolutely no doubt that she would achieve her goal. 

Em never got to run her marathon. So a group of us, friends and family, decided to run it in her memory. 

I never had a reason to run a marathon before. This is why I'm running it now.

Em finishing a London 10k, 2007