Long day today. Only got 40 mins sleep before the alarm went off at 3.40am. Combination of last minute packing / sorting out and stress/excitement. Taxi arrived 4.45am. Collected Neil and Rachael on the way before heading to airport. Caught 7am flight to Belfast. Only took 40 mins. Then aeroporter bus to Derry - 1.5hr journey. Waited at terminus in Derry for Thomas- my Airbnb host - to arrive and take us to his apartment. It was only a 5 min walk away.
Thomas is young, quirky, very talkative and friendly. He's artistic, musical, a dancer and online tutor of English to foreign children. After a quick chat I left my luggage and headed off with Neil and Rachael to check out the marathon route. The route actually goes past Thomas's apartment - thats why I chose it. Neil and I agreed on a spot where I will stand tomorrow to see him pass and then we went further along the route to find another place for me to stand. The route loops around Derry so there are a few opportunities to see the runners. Then we went to the finish area where I will meet Neil tomorrow. After Neil finishes we will go back out on to the course to wait for Rachael. Its her first marathon so she will take ages. Neil is going to go back up the course, find her and run in with her. Hopefully I will spot them coming past together.
The we went to O'Neills sports shop so that Neil and Rachael could collect their race packs, numbers etc. I have added a photo in my Extras
After we had sorted all that out we met up with Rachaels Mam and Dad. We went for a meal together. I had fish, chips and peas. It was yummy. Then the 4 of them went to Limavady where Rachaels Mam and Dad live.
I decided to go on an organised tour to walk the walls of Derry. It started at 2pm. Very interesting. It lasted around 1hr 15min.
Next I went to Dunnes stores. We don't have Dunnes in the UK so I decided to take a look. Ended up buying a top.
By this time I was exhausted so I nipped into M&S to buy sandwiches, snacks and drinks and then headed back to the apartment. My sense of direction is poor but I did manage to remember how to get back there.
When I got back I went to bed for 3 hrs. Really needed that sleep.
Thomas has been out this afternoon, evening and overnight - babysitting his two nephews. So I have had the place to myself. Its on 3rd floor and overlooks the River Foyle with the Craigavon Bridge to the right. The marathon route goes over this bridge. You can see the view from my bedroom in my blip shot - day and night.
Off to bed soon. No time for comments but I may be able to catch up tomorrow depending on how busy/tired I am.
Steps today - 16,988