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 3) Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Tony P, 3:43:14

This was my first marathon. I was looking forward to it with much excitement and I must admit that I was not let down! The crowd support was excellent all the way and putting my name on my vest helped, as many were shouting encouragement.

The atmosphere was indescribable. Eleven members of my family and relatives were cheering me on and I managed to see them at three different spots (which was something to look forward to). A big thank you to everyone.

Pain on the balls of my feet and a couple of small cramps made the last three miles uncomfortable, but I was determined not to stop.

Crossing the finishing line gave me a great sense of achievement; and my first thought after that.... I want to do it again next year! Mad? No: very happy and still on cloud nine!

Snuffles, 3:37

Best moment? Putting on my sunglasses at the start.. and going into the Green Start area. It felt like being in the first-class departures lounge!

Worst Moment? Throwing up on the side of the road at around 20 miles when the wheels finally fell off!

The biggest surprise? Getting to the start in the first place. Sadly my Dad died on 1st April and his funeral was on the 11th. Making the race at all felt like a huge achievement after struggling with my training all this year and only three weeks ago planning to pull out. This one was most definitely for him.

Wixey, 3:28:47

This was my first competitive run of any kind. I have to say I'm very proud of my time of 3.28.47. Running for CLIC (Cancer & Leukaemia in Childhood), I hope to raise nearly £3000, so crossing the finish line was my goal and a decent time a bonus.

My best moment was seeing family and friends along the route - it really gave me a boost to see their support.

There were a couple of bad moments, first getting a bottle of water and slipping, falling on my knees, fortunately escaping injury. The second, the Isle of Dogs. The twist and turns felt as though they'd never end!

The most memorable moment was a fellow runner with a water pistol squirting a police lady right in the face, SUPERB!!

I was hoping for a sub-three-hour time with the training I put in, but the vast amount of runners and the fact I was quite far back at the Greenwich start meant I simply couldn't get into my stride. I got a sun tan, though! Maybe next year I'll get there earlier and get nearer the front, a great learning experience for the future.

A truly great day, not only for me, but for my family and friends. I'll be back!!

Charly, 3:47:57

What can I say about this my third London marathon other than it was just awesome. I went into this race with no expectations about my finishing time and I ended up getting a PB, which I am over the moon about. I ran a steady pace for each mile and this seemed to pay off as I didn't hit the wall and remained strong throughout, allowing me to finish in 3hrs 47mins 57secs - a time I would never had thought that I would achieve.

The support around the course was again superb and the although the weather was a little warmer than a runner would ideally like, it was great to have a nice sunny day – I'm sure it made runners and supports alike even happier than usual!

The best moment for me was at about the 14-mile mark when it suddenly dawned on me that if I could maintain my pace for the remaining miles then I would not only finish under 4 hours, but I would also be able to get a PB.

The worst moment was seeing some of the suffering by fellow runners. I hated seeing the pain that they were going through and I especially remember feeling so sad at seeing a man falling over just after the 25-mile mark saying to the St John's ambulance staff that he couldn't carry on...

The biggest surprise for me was feeling strong enough to sprint at the finish, as when I last ran the London Marathon in 2003 I felt terrible at the end, and struggled to even jog through the finish.

The most memorable moment for me was seeing a man running without an arm, as it make me think about all the people that do the marathon with disabilities or under stressful conditions and made me realise that this is what the London Marathon is all about – it makes a winner out of every runner.

This race was a great event for me personally and one that I shall remember forever.

Kiwi chica, 3:39:33

What a corker of a day - the sun shone brilliantly burning us all as we ran around the course, the crowds cheered like mad, the bands played, the kids screamed and shouted and held out their hands to be slapped, people handed out orange segments, lollipops, jelly babies and fruit bursts, supporters screamed out names on vests and my ears rang to Come on Elvis as I plodded along next to the man in the sideburned wig....or maybe I was hallucinating....

..then the Incredible Hulk ran past so perhaps I was a bit delirious.

Off I ran over Tower Bridge and headed along the Highway to see the elite women and the leading men heading back the other way. Everyone cheered like mad and I looked on in awe at how people can run that fast, then felt a bit ill that they'd done Canary Wharf and I still had it all ahead of me...and I'm sure it seemed hillier running it in the opposite direction this year....

Plod, plod, plod, feet sticky from the Lucozade spilt along the road ... and thank goodness for the showers or I may have ended up as a puddle on the ground. Back along the Highway to cheers from my mates in the crowd, then down past Tower Bridge and towards Lower Thames Street, more mates screaming support, wanted to stop and join them as spectators but didn't put in months of training to stop now...

Mile 23, got my Lucozade from Jonny Wilkinson, I'm sure I must've looked incredibly attractive after 3 hours in the sun so I don't know why he didn't propose marriage right then and there...

Into the tunnel then at long last, Embankment, crowds unlike any I've ever seen and every step brought me closer to Big Ben... finally got there and turned the corner, thank goodness it was nearly over, past the Palace and bang, at last I could see the finish line and best of all I even managed a sprint to come in under 3:40...

stagger, stagger, stagger, got medal, bag, met hubby to find he'd done a PB, so congrats all around then hallelujah... the pub!

Paula S, 3:29:45

I've never really liked my name, but I was so thankful to my parents on Sunday.

I'd ironed the letters "PAULA" onto my Cancer Research vest and the reaction from the crowd on Sunday morning was absolutely incredible. So many children and adults were calling out my name and shouting at me. I was getting "Haven't you already won yet?", "Here comes Paula number 2", etc all the way round.

My legs started to go from about 21 miles and I really wanted to walk but thanks to all of those spectators shouting my name and cheering me on I made it round in my target of sub 3.30 (but only just).

I may be suffering with stiff legs today but I went to sleep on Sunday night with my name ringing in my ears and a big grin on my face.

3Legs, 3:53:03

My day in London was one of the most memorable experiences of my entire life. I took up running (or jogging as I then called it) 16 months ago in order to help me lose some weight and get fit. Very quickly I was able to lose 4.5 stone in weight from 16.5 to 12 stone.

My boss suggested I might like to take part in a 20k in Brussels last May in order to give me a goal to focus on. I spent 5 months training for it and was happy with my finish time of 2:03 minutes - by then I was completely hooked. Another half followed in August and it was then I applied for London, not even sure I would be capable of undergoing the necessary training.

I did another two halfs including the Great North Run and now had a PB of 1:47:17. At Christmas my focus switched to training for London and I used the Runners World Intermediate schedule from the magazine. I enjoyed the variety in the training, including tempo, hills, long runs and recoveries.

My training went really well and I felt really confident coming up to the big day and had even practised mental techniques such as visualisation and positive self-talk to help get me through any rough patches. I did all the right things, tapered properly, kept hydrated, carbo loaded, rested well the day before and felt confident, if apprehensive. The night before I ate my evening meal with two friends who would be supporting me on the big day, we planned for them to be at the 9-mile, 15-mile, 18-mile and 25-mile points and worked out all the journeys and roughly when I expected to pass each point. I laid out my race kit and then retired for an early night.

I set off on marathon morning with a good breakfast of porridge in my belly, a bottle of energy drink in my hand and an RW pacing band on my wrist. Although it was my first-ever marathon and I am a relative beginner, I was focussed on a time target of 3:40 which I believed I may be capable of. In the back of my mind, though, I had two other targets in mind, sub-4 and sub-4:30 just in case things did not go as planned. When I first contemplated the marathon, sub 4:30 was my expectation, so although I was aiming higher, that was the target that mattered.

The starting countdown soon came and then, we were off. I was mentally and physically focussed and the first 5 miles went by in a blur of excitement, I had my name in big letters on my T-shirt and it seemed everyone in the crowd was there for me, there were constant cries of "Go Andy", "Come on Andy", "Well done Andy" and so on.

I was high-fiving kids and winking acknowledgement to all my supporters; I felt on top of the world. My first objective arrived in the form of the Lucozade station where I gladly accepted a pouch even though at the time I didn't feel thirsty, I kept hold of the pouch for the next 2 miles, sipping as I went until I had finished its precious contents, I was puzzled at the sight of other runners discarding their pouches after only one or two sips of the fluid.

The Cutty Sark was an uplifting sight and then, just before the 9-mile marker there were my friends as planned. This put an extra spring in my step, and by the next Lucozade station I was right on pace and feeling good. Next came Tower Bridge and I felt like the king of the world, the crowds cheering my name, my spirits high, heart thumping and legs pumping.

I passed through halfway still right on target, muscles beginning to ache a bit but nothing serious to worry about. By the 15-mile mark I was drifting off my pace slightly, but the sight of my friends cheering me on at 15 gave me another lift. By 18 miles the heat was beginning to take its toll and I was further adrift of my pace plan.

My friends were a welcome sight at 18 miles and the Lucozade stations were an oasis in the desert. By now there was a constant voice in my head telling me to stop running. I was fighting the voice almost constantly, repeating to myself that I was strong, remembering my visualisations of running strongly for mile after mile.

My focus seemed to have turned inward: no more the big smile, no more the high fiving with kids, the banter with the spectators. Suddenly the supporting words from the crowd began to sound like criticisms, "come on Andy, keep your chin up", "not long left now Andy". I moved to the middle of the road to try to escape their voices, I looked at the pace band and ripped it off in disgust, the numbers on it were now a constant reminder of my own failure to stick to my plan, my shoulders were sunburned, my legs were aching... I was finished.

Then came the turning point: at just over 20 miles I began to win the battle against the voice in my head. "Less than 6 miles to go now," I told it, "no more than a training run." I refocussed on a new goal: I knew I could now run at over 10 minutes a mile and still beat 4 hours. The last miles were sheer torture; maintaining any sort of pace took every ounce of my mental and physical strength. Onto the embankment the crowds were roaring but I was in a different place fighting the hardest battle I had ever fought against my own body.

At 25 miles up popped my mate Rob again, all smiles, "You've done it mate, you've done it!" I beamed from ear to ear thinking, "he's bloody right, I have done it!". My stride lengthened, I heard a chiming sound and looked up: Big Ben was announcing the arrival of 1.30pm. It was a magical moment. The last half-mile was my fastest and I crossed the line arms spread wide all smiles for the camera.

I turned to the runner next to me. "Do you know something, mate?"

"What's that?" came his reply.

"We've only gone and run a marathon, haven't we?"

Even now, days later, every time I close my eyes I relive that moment at the 25-mile point when my mate Rob uttered those immortal words "You've done it mate, you've done it!". That is one moment I will never forget as long as I live.

•I think the keys to my success were;

  1. Train well and prepare well both physically, mentally, and administratively.
  2. Realise the importance of the mental strength required to succeed and practise techniques to get you through the hard times.
  3. Be realistic about your time expectations and have a fallback plan if for some reason your pace differs to that planned. In this way you are less likely to be demoralised if you start to falter from your original target.
  4. Don't underestimate the value of support from friends and family, for me it was a crucial factor in my success
  5. Start the race hydrated and take on fluids from an early stage, use the energy drinks provided and don't just throw them away after 2 sips, the energy drink pouches each lasted me a mile or 2 and I drank 5 en route.
  6. Break the race up into manageable chunks, for me the race consisted of; 5 mile run to Lucozade station 4 mile run to my mates Another mile to Lucozade station 5 miles to my mates (and more lucozade) 3 miles to my mates 2 miles to lucozade 5 miles to my mates 1 and a bit miles to finish In this way when things got really tough I never had more than 5 miles to run before getting a boost.
Muzzer, 3:43:03

I ran 2:59 in Dublin last year, but after a toe operation last October, the surgeon said I would never run another marathon again. "Take up cycling," he said.

My wife Annette, with a 4:09 marathon PB, had a operation on her knee on December 1 to remove cartilage - and her surgeon also said, "You will never run again, so give up that stupid sport and buy a bike" Just what you want to hear!

As it was, we both ran the Flora London Marathon together this Sunday in 3:43:02, securing a Golden Bond Place for 2006 for Annette. She has been running since February with no problems, and I had a couple of runs before London just to test the foot out. Annette knocked over 26 minutes off her PB and I got a PW but who cares? what a great day for all!!

My best moment was crossing that start line again after a layoff of six months, and my worst moment was having to pass the Cheeky Girls at 2 miles; that was a comfortable pace, but Annette was having none of it! Maybe I should run slower from now on... after all it is the taking part that counts.

The biggest surprise was getting around in one piece, but we runners are all made of tough stuff. For the future I would definitely change my training schedule as 4-5 runs just ain't enough to run a marathon. The key to our success was to prove people wrong, and I think anybody can do this, you just need an incentive.

Roll on 2006!

Marius Maxwell, 3:51
I was struggling with a twisted knee for 13 miles and as a result my hip and other knee were now a real problem. I was within two miles of the end and wondered how I'd ever finish. A hand reached out with a Lucozade for me, and as I turned to thank the volunteer I realised it was Jonny Wilkinson. Cheers Johny - I made it!
Swayer, 3:43

A PB and £16,000 in the bank!

This was my first-ever marathon. I went for 3:30 and achieved 3:43. Damn!! But I've raised £16,000 and climbing for the Naomi House Children's Hospice in the process so there are no losers.

I was cruising at 13 miles, feeling great at 14 miles, had a pain in the left hip at 15 miles, and the knee joined in at 16. The last 10 miles were very painful.

The crowd was fantastic. I've made so many new friends from the people I have got to know and met from the RW Sub-3:30 forum. Their advice and encouragement was priceless. Thanks GeoffM, RobW, AA, T&TM, RFJ, Dunarunner, Baking Runner, AlanM, TTT, Blisters (3:06!!!!)....the list goes on. You are all stars!

What a day, what and event, what a memory. Bring on the next one. I will get a sub 3:30!!

Baking Runner, 3:28:24

Baking Runner, in the Canada shirt

Unbelievable. Completely unbelievable. This was my first London Marathon and to say I was astounded is an understatement. I bumped into so many forumites on the course, and the huge cheer that erupted as I yelled 'Yea! Runner's World at Mile 17' deafened me. The Victoria Memorial looked like a rock concert venue, there were so many people.

The best moment was coming out from under the tunnel and being completely surrounded by spectators, and yelling 'Let's go London' and hearing one huge voiceless cheer answering me. The worst moment was starting to push at mile 14 and then realising it was a bit early with 12 more miles to go!

The crowds carried me the entire way. Truly a race to remember. Thanks to the sub-3:30 forum; seeing so many people on the route was a huge boost!

Back to main stories index 3:00 to 4:00, page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Previous article
My 2005 London Marathon
Next article
My 2005 London Marathon

 
TwitterStumbleUponFacebookDiggRedditGoogle


Discuss this article

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Smart Coach
Free, fully-personalized training plans, designed to suit your racing goals and your lifestyle.