My 2005 London Marathon

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


Posted: 19 April 2005

5 HOURS+ (Page 1) Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Snoop Dogg, 5:30ish

From the initial gathering in the pub on Blackheath with Donna and JJ, with whom I had trained over the winter months, to the very end, it was one big party, doing 'high fives' with the younger spectators, and stopping frequently to see friends and family at various stage posts.

Running with forum pal Rach, who suffered from severe stomach cramps and required a number of pit stops, meant I saw a different side of FLM – the inside of a number of pubs en route.

Great support was received from another forum pal Tiger, who popped up several times throughout, and then the 10 magnificent forum support teams at mile 17 who looked after all the runners, not just their own, and my own support team seven - you were all truly superb, and gave us a huge lift at a difficult part of the course.

Thanks to forumite photographer Rich K, and Daniel and Sean from RW, all working hard to bring us memories of the best running day out of the year.

Rio Fair, 5:25:18

Wow, what a day! The sun finally shone on us all and the day was brilliant, from getting on the train at Charing Cross to the finish in the Mall.

The best moment: for me, it was seeing Big Ben in the distance and it actually coming towards me instead of appearing to disappear!

The worst moment: I don’t think there was a ‘worst moment’ except maybe the pain.

Most memorable moment: Running past the team nine supporters and having to turn round and get back to them. It was like travelling the wrong way down a one way street. I apologise to anyone I got in the way of! And taking 27 minutes off last year’s time!

What would I do differently? Absolutely nothing! (Oh except maybe a bit more pain relief en route!) I had an absolute ball. Can't wait to do it all again next year!

Sue Toseland, 6:20

What a day, thousands of people it was great. Enjoyed the whole event even though got injured at mile 13 - I pulled a muscle, but was not going to let that stop me. This was my first London; I did it in 6hrs 20mins - not fast, but I finished, and seeing that finish line was amazing and the people cheering help me run the last 200yds.

Salsa, 7:04

The best moment - seeing my friends and family in the crowd.....and again....and again...!

The worst moment? The train journey up... a total crisis of confidence, I just wanted to go home!

The biggest surprise came when my friends walked alongside the course for the last seven miles with me!

I truly have the best friends on the planet, their support and encouragement gave me the strength I needed to keep on going!

Lucrece, 5:05:28

As I lined up at the Greenwich Park start, whether or not I'd finish this marathon - or even get to the first mile - was a big question mark. My training went completely off course when shin splints set in about six weeks ago. To keep up my fitness I joined a gym and hit the cardio machines, but I was well aware this wasn't conditioning e right muscles. I was confident about my heart and lungs, but not my legs.

I started off running with my friends Anita, Lyndsey, and Lizzie. They thoughtfully insisted on sticking with me for the first mile but I yelled: "Go, go, go." I knew I had to keep to my pace if I had any hope in this thing. Miraculously, by mile three my shin was holding up, so I was able to turn my attention to the fantastic crowds. They were a bit polite at the beginning, so being the loud American that I am I took to cheering them on instead. I would run to them, yell, and wave my hands to get them going. It worked.

By this point I was running 10-and-a-half-minute miles and was feeling good. So good I was clearly off my strategy, which was to run a mile and walk a minute. But at least I was smart enough to put my other plan into action: a jelly baby every other mile. I carried my 13 little captives in a wrist wallet. I also carried some ibuprofen which I took two hours into the race. Go ahead, call me a drug cheat.

During the first few miles I was being passed by some interesting characters, including a guy in a Victorian dress, curly wig, and parasol who kept squeaking "I'm a lady, I'm a lady!" Thankfully, I did pass the man in the diving suit as well as the caterpillar. At about mile eight I decided to start on the walking breaks, just short one-minute walks, usually through the water stations. Then I would start up again, just concentrating on the next mile. I couldn't think of the entire 26.2-mile journey, it was one mile at a time. But what really got me going was the support. My favourite cheer was from some blond guy: "C'mon, Jess, make me PROUD!!!!!"

Having friends to look forward to at different points was priceless. I was assigned to forum support team seven, and as mile 17 approached I knew I'd get a huge cheer. I came up to them and was greeted with hugs, dark chocolate Mars Bars (thank you!) and a photo opportunity. They were fantastic.

At mile 20 I thought I was on course for a sub-5 hour finish. But little can prepare you for that last 10K. You start feeling different degrees of pain, and all I could think of was that this is the closest thing I’ve done to childbirth (I might have to eat those words someday). It just hurts everywhere and you want it over even though there’s a nice prize at the end.

At mile 22 I felt my left calf cramp up and stopped at first aid for a quick massage. It was painful, but it did the trick. I knew I had just over four miles to go and well, I’ve run that before.

But I’d never run when my feet felt like bricks and even my biceps hurt from keeping my arms up. I knew I had one more set of supporters at Big Ben just after mile 25. When I saw the buildings come into view, that was it. The tears came. I gave up the walking breaks and resorted to sheer willpower and an incredible hunger for the finish. I came down to Parliament and kept turning my head left and right looking for my friends. Then I heard “JESSSSSS!!!!” – I looked right and there they were: Danielle, Suzie, and Lisa. All of a sudden I got this surge of power in my legs and ran to them, gave them all a hug, and kept going. I hadn’t said a word to them. It’s very strange, how your emotions change from mile to mile. At that mile I was speechless.

Then came mile 26, and that 0.2 felt like a whole other mile. I kept looking for the finish clock, but the course just kept turning. Finally, finally, we arrived at the Mall. I shifted my sunglasses over the top of my head, threw my arms up, and crossed. The timing chip was cut off, the medal was put around my neck, and my picture was taken. I was able to stop the tears just enough.

And today? My usual 10-minute walk to the tube took 25 painstaking minutes. But hey, I’m a marathoner.

Caroline Murphy, 5:18:48

The crowd was amazing - I think they deserve a medal for their fantastic support. I took full advantage of the amenities available - queuing for at least 10 minutes for the loo at mile 13 and having a lovely knee massage by a cute physiotherapist at mile 18 and popping lots of sweets from the WONDERFUL crowds. I can compare the Marathon to child birth, it’s hurts like hell, it’s a WONDERFUL feeling when it's over but there is no way I'm going to do that again - needless to say I have four children!!

Sammy Snail, 5:34:34

The best part of the day was meeting so many different people all taking part for their own reasons. The crowd throughout the course was an inspiration.

The worst part was pulling my hamstring after two miles; lucky for me the St. John’s was only a few yards away to help me back into the race. I managed to finish, but in a lot of pain. My ITBS started at 22 mile, so it was murder to run. My family at mile 24 mile kept me going and the great crowd pulled me through.

One of the things that I did have was a great deal of advice at my finger tips from some very experienced people on all the various Forums on RW.

Next time I would stick to a schedule more closely than I did and I will stretch a lot more in the last days to keep supple. One thing that I did notice was how well the whole event was organised from start to finish. I can see now why it is the best marathon in the world.

Beanz52, 6:32:28

Best moment? Meeting the forumites at mile 17 – I’m not sure how I'd have got that far without them to look forward to.

Worst moment? Wanting to stop at the traffic lights when they turned to red, but knowing that I probably wouldn't be able to get going again if I did.

What would I do differently? Stay in a hotel where I could get a decent meal the night before, instead of a budget hotel out on a trading estate with nothing for miles. And before I do another I want to lose some weight and get in more long runs.

Evil Pixie, 6:46:18

Best moment: Hard to say! Nicko at mile 11 and the forum peeps at mile 17!

Worst moment? When my head went completely (the penguin's marathon madness!) and calculating times and even location despite just passing a mile marker made me cry as I couldn't work it out!! Adding 3 minutes to the current time was impossible!

Most memorable moment? Total strangers calling out "PIXIE" - one guy shouted "hey look we have a little pixie!" every time I heard my name my grin got bigger!

Originally my goal was sub-5 but with a stress fracture I had said any finish was good. 6:46:18 gave me a PB of 17 minutes - I'm thrilled!

What would you do differently? Not get a stress fracture so be able to run my training runs! My key to my success was determination and coach SPANS!! She helped me keep going when I got injured and helped plan my race day! Thanks Spans!

How will I be celebrating? Chocolate and sleep!

Stuart Grist, 5:02

This was the first marathon for my brother and me; we’d both lost about two stone over the last eight months or so.

Best Moment: it started off really well when we realised we had done 10-minute miles for the first 13 miles. My bro felt a little off colour in the heat and dodging bottles became an art form dancing up the road.

We split up around 14-15 miles as he wanted a different pace, so off I went. Then I tripped over a bottle - it came out of nowhere – and I pulled my knee.

Worst Moment: around 22 miles or so my knee went and I had to walk and jog.

Biggest Surprise: my bro caught me up so he gallantly stayed with me, I was in agony until I remembered that I had three ibuprofen in the back of my shorts. It did trick, and we were off a mile or so from the line.

We finished in the same time, 5:02:59, not bad for a first marathon. The whole day was even better because we started off together and finished together. He's one in a million, my bro.

What would I do differently: I think I followed the training plan a little too closely, as I found that it was too many training days in the week from the start. I found my own best way was remembering what was good for me when I was younger and fitter: only three to four days (as an absolute maximum) a week in the start and getting to a point where I can’t improve unless I increase the days training within a week.

I’m a little sore but really happy, and I’ll be there next year, barring injury.

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