My 2005 London Marathon

How was it for you? - Quotes and pictures from London 05


Posted: 19 April 2005

3:00 TO 4:00 (Page 1) Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Batfink, 3:00:42

The best moment: feeling like a proper athlete crossing Tower Bridge and taking the time to look at the crowds that seemed to be 20 deep in all places. Oh, and running behind Nell McAndrew for a few minutes!

The worst moment: coming to a seemingly grinding halt at 24 miles after being bang on pace for the previous 23 miles.

The biggest surprise: See 'Worst moment'!

What would you do differently? I was very happy with how I ran on the day, especially with my pacing up to about 23 miles. The reason the physical shutters came down after that, I believe, was simply not enough miles in training. The balancing act of keeping injury-free and been fully trained for a quick marathon was just a bit off balance this time.

How will you be celebrating? Went to the pub an hour after the race. Had three sips of Guinness, nearly fainted and promptly threw up the 'health bar' I got in the goodie bag and the tuna sandwich I'd prepared for the finish. I felt a lot better after that and managed another few pints and treated myself to a pizza when I got back home.

The Hack, 3:29:46

This was my second marathon. My first was Sydney in 2003, and there simply is no comparison. I never expected just how incredible the atmosphere would be - Sydney was a long and lonely run whilst London is a festival.

What was my best moment? That is pretty difficult to answer as I loved every minute, yes even that last 800m. However, seeing my workmates at mile 23 with James Cracknell, and giving them all a kiss and a hug gave me some extra inner energy which made the last three miles sadistically easy.

The worst moment? Only having an hour’s sleep the night before - not the best preparation.

Biggest surprise? Getting in under 3:30 (my target time was 3:45) - the crowds and the training shaved off 22mins from my previous marathon.

Key to success? The sleep deprivation must have paid off!

Dunarunner, 3:47:10

The pain and the ecstasy. This was a 26.2-mile emotional rollercoaster that will live in the memory forever. Not because I had a good run - I didn't - but for the crowd support, the weather, the many forumites I passed and was passed by, but most of all for all the other runners out there. We were all united by one common bond. We had to get to the finish no matter whether we were fast and loose, or a bit slower with muscles tightening by the second.

This was my ninth London, but my first for six years. I'd forgotten the impact the event has on your senses and had thought that I would make this my last London for quite some time, and go off and find some other challenges. But it gets into your blood, and now, less than 24 hours after dragging myself to the finish, I want to do it again.

Bring it on!

Burner, 3:52:29

This was my second FLM; I last ran in 2003 in nearly identical conditions. The best moment for me was undoubtedly seeing my girlfriend and my family at miles 14 and 22. It gives you such a lift to know you've got your own personal fan club! Coming a close second had to be getting my Lucozade Sport handed to my by James Cracknell.

My worst moment was when I hit the wall at mile 18. I don't remember this so much last time as I was running with a friend but this time on my own it felt like the world and his wife were streaming past me. I was on for a 3:45 time but as my target was sub-4 (I did 4:10 last time) it wasn't the end of the world.

The most memorable moment for me was repeating the mantra RW suggested I have for the tough times "I am a good and strong runner and I can and will finish" through the last six miles.

The thing I would try to do differently I think would be to try to have a training partner for next time as it helps to have someone to spur you on. The key to my success, and it was a success as I did it in 3:52:29 a full 18 minutes faster than last time, is that when things get tough keep telling yourself that you are a great runner and that you will finish. The positive mental attitude works wonders.

Pete Watts, 3:53

Beware the curse of the discarded drinks bottle!!!

10 miles in and everything was going fine, with a nice even pace and plenty in reserve for a storming finish when I got 'nudged' by a fellow runner desperate to grab a bottle from the drinks station. I momentarily lost balance and trod on a bottle that some kind soul had unwittingly discarded in the middle of the road. My ankle turned over and one loud expletive later I was left nursing a very painful and rapidly swelling right ankle. Hoping to 'run it off' I continued (at a much reduced pace) until I realised that the pain was not going to lessen. I had two options: STOP or carry on and finish. There was only one answer ..... I carried on and finished (albeit slower than last year) in 3:53.

After the event the charity I was being sponsored for (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) were brilliant. In stormed St John's Ambulance, quickly followed by the London Ambulance Service and I was whisked off to St. Thomas' Hospital where I was informed I had a fractured ankle. The look on their faces when they found out that I had run on the injury for 16 out of the 26 miles was one of utter disbelief - but as I told them 'Not giving up – its what marathons are all about!' Many thanks to St John's Ambulance and St Thomas' for 'sorting me out' and getting safely back on a train to Hampshire.

Graham Legs in Threads, 3:08:12

Brilliant day - turned up on Blackheath at 07:00 to marshal at the Blue Start - duties included keeping interlopers from using the toilets in the AAA of England championship compound. Even so we couldn’t prevent Fred Flintstone from vaulting the barriers. He looked more than a little conspicuous standing in line in his loin cloth amongst some of England’s finest marathoners, but he made himself scarce when we told him we’d make him line up on the AAA championship start.

Worst moment: the first six miles, finding it hard to get on the pace, felt as if I was going backwards down the field. Being passed by a bloke dressed as a bunny girl didn’t help.

Best moment: the last six miles, feeling strong and passing a lot of the people who’d surged past me earlier on.

Biggest surprise: getting to 20 miles in 2:22, well within my planned sub-3:15 schedule, and feeling good. I could have allowed myself to coast over the last 10K, but the noise from the crowds gives you such a buzz lift there’s no way of allowing yourself to lift off.

Memorable moment: snogging my lady friend who was spectating at the 19-mile point - much to her embarrassment - and the amusement of the people around her.

Do differently: not too much, on the basis that planning and preparation is everything (as is avoiding injuries). So, plan better, prepare harder, oh hell, and give up Guinness.

Pearcehead, 3:54:39

I DID IT! (Not that I ever doubted that I would finish). But would I complete the gruelling 26.2 miles in my hoped for sub-four hours, and without walking?

It was almost all over at mile three when I nearly ran into a bollard. The guy in front of me suddenly stepped to one side and there it was, aiming straight at my family jewels. I just managed a quick side-step, keeping all intact and not out of the race.

The Cutty Sark at six miles is fantastic. Although it’s a bit of a bottle neck, the crowds are very noisy and uplifting. It feels at that point as though the next 20 miles will be a cinch.

The highlight of the day was meeting John Hanscomb at around mile 10. 70-year-old John is one of the 29 people who has done all 25 marathons. His son Guy used to work with me. I was just running along, minding my own business, and saw a runner with JOHN HANSCOMB written on his back. I ran past and then thought ‘I wonder if that is Guy’s Dad?’ So I slowed up and ran alongside him and said: "are you Guy’s Dad?". He was a bit surprised but said "yes". I congratulated him, shook his hand and moved on.

I saw my wife and family at mile 15 then again at mile 19. That was a real boost. I had rung my wife before the start to ask her to bring up some sun tan lotion, but I didn't want to stop to collect it. I think the possibility of the lotion running down into my eyes was probably the worst of two evils anyway.

I hit "the wall" between miles 22 and 23, but managed to keep running. My feet were on fire, my legs didn't belong to me and my head was pounding.

If I had felt like that a few miles earlier I would have had to walk but with just over three miles to go I managed to keep pushing on, particularly knowing that I was still on for my target time.

My wife and family where there at 25 miles. That really was a tremendous boost. I had been struggling to maintain 10-minute miles since 20/22 but managed to increase my pace to under nine minutes for the last 1.2 miles.

I finished in a time of 3:54:39, 8005th out of a starting line up of 35,680. I'm very pleased with that.

Running Bhoy, 3:12

Right. First things first. This year, getting a place in FLM was an added bonus as I already had decided to do Paris Marathon the week before.

Having never done either Paris or FLM before, and having a bit of an aversion to all things London-like, I can categorically state that FLM is by far and away the best marathon I have EVER done! The organisation is superb, the course (dull East End or not) is great, the camaraderie is fantastic, and the level of support is just simply UNBELIEVABLE!!!! The whole 26.2 miles I did not see a gap in the crowds, and the level of noise is intense.

I used to think that all the fancy-dressers were not in the spirit of running, but I was wrong. FLM may not be everybody’s favourite race, but it IS what running is all about. All levels, all abilities, all enjoying themselves. If you don’t want to run beside somebody dressed as a rhino, or Mr Incredible, or a sexy nurse (with a moustache!) then that's fine. Don't do FLM. But if you do want to be part of the world's biggest running family, then FLM is the one (and best one) for you. Simply superb.

I finished in 3.12ish – which, given the fact that it was really hot, Paris had only been seven days previous (where I did 3.00.35!), and I had to endure running behind Nell McAndrew for two whole miles, I am really pleased.

Richard Riordan, 3:22:02

This was my first ever marathon and what a day! I couldn't believe the level of support from the crowd and the hard work from all of the volunteers.

I think that the worst moment was somewhere around mile 22 when I realised that the pain and fatigue were not going to fade, the wall is more of a very lonely long dark tunnel, its just you and your belief that will see you through.

I followed the sub-3.30 RW programme which worked for me. I ran mostly on a treadmill, the long runs I did on the road were very heavy on my knees, but in general I stuck to it week for week, bar a few injury moments. You have to believe that you have prepared and stick to it and put in the preparation.

I think next time I will be more aware of when I am injured and rest more and seek professional advice, but overall I'm pleased with how it went. I will also try and join a club as it did get a bit lonely on my own.

Straycelt, 3:23

Well this would be my 10th London Marathon, (all raising money for charity, many entries through ballot or GFA) having secured a place through a GFA place courtesy of 2003. I was running for Macmillan Cancer Relief and this was the culmination of an intensive 36 days of training and running which started out with the FLM Half at Silverstone, moved through the Helphire Bath Half, journeyed onto Guernsey for the last warm-up half on Easter Monday before three full marathons at Taunton on 3rd April, Paris on the 10th and now the biggie: FLM.

The aim was to raise £30,000 for Macmillan and I stood on the start line knowing the figure had been achieved with and through the support of my colleagues at Somerfield and their great fundraising efforts. The weather was good, my start was clear but I had no idea what was left in the tank as I had never attempted anything like this before. Going through halfway in just over 1:38 meant I was running inside my schedule, looking at a good negative split and looking forward to seeing the Macmillan supporters along the new route and journey to the finish.

The crowds were great, the support from Macmillan was awesome, their cheers at various points lifted body and spirit, but at 21 miles "the tank" registered empty and for the first time in years I was running on empty. Two choices: burn out or slow down. Coming along the Embankment I heard a voice and then saw Louisa, a Serpentine Harrier and Macmillan worker whom I had met and run Paris with, cheering me on. I had to stop for a hug break, say hello and then head for the finish.

I missed a GFA by just under nine minutes, but wasn't disappointed. How could I be, when I had just completed three marathons in 15 days with two full weeks of work in between? What might have been if I had been on holiday? It was a great day, fantastic race, wonderful support and a special anniversary for the FLM and for me. Tired but happy, I made my way to the Macmillan Recovery Centre and started my short journey back to fitness knowing something a bit different had been done to help some others on a much longer journey.

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