My 2005 London Marathon

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


Posted: 19 April 2005

5 HOURS+ (Page 5) Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
mssloan1962, 6:10

The best moment was realising my wisdom in bringing along some of my own toilet paper! The loos along the route don't have a very big supply and us mere mortals can't just 'go' in the middle of the course, unlike some!

The worst moment was not being able to run any more, at about 16 miles, knowing it would be a long walk to the finish. But I made it, with the fantastic support of the crowds along the way, who stayed on to support us slower movers.

Nigel Lapthorne, 5:57

I haven't done any real form of exercise for the past 14 years, and at the age of 36 I have now completed my first marathon in 5hrs 57. No world record but for someone who has bandy legs, quite an achievement ;-)

Q:What was the best moment?
A: The best moment for me was getting to the 16-mile mark in 3 hours without walking or stopping. I had never done this in training and it just shows what you can do when you put your mind to something.

A:The most exhilarating was of course deciding to run the last mile from Westminster all the way to the finish. I have no idea how I did it as I had picked up a recurring leg injury at 16miles that prevented me from running. The crowd was fantastic, and as I came round the corner along the Mall, I moved into the centre of the road and picked up speed, playing up to the commentator, who in turn chanted my name. What a REAL BUZZ !!! I will never forget that.

Q: And the worst moment?
A: I'm not sure if there was a worst moment. I was disappointed that my leg gave way at 16 miles, as I felt I could have gone on.

Q: The biggest surprise? Or the most memorable moment?
A: My biggest surprises were being able to sustain a running pace with a heart rate of between 180 and 192. I didn't feel dizzy, and just kept going. And moreover, the encouragement you get from so many spectators and fellow runners alike: amazing.....

A: My most memorable moment was at about mile two. I hooked up with a chap from Citibank (it was terrible that I didn't get his name or race number) who ran with me to about the 14-mile mark where he had to start to walk. He kept me company by giving me encouragement and good conversation, and would even grab two bottles of water at the stations, so one for me as well. I don't think I would have got as far without him egging me on, for which I am very thankful

Q: What would you do differently? And what was the key to your success?
A: I would probably put in more training and longer runs before my next marathon, with leg-strengthening exercises. The key to finishing was good advice: I had a good pair of trainers that catered for my clumsy running style, and I took energy gels every hour with a bit of energy bar. I also wore a belt carrying a bottle of Lucozade Sport that I would refill occasionally, but most of all I held on to my bottle of water and would change at each station ensuring I took regular sips and used some to cool my head.

Steve Thompson, 5:16

I completed my first-ever marathon, after promising myself when I turned 50 in November last year that I would do for the Alzheimers Society. My Mum is a sufferer.

Lessons Learnt

  • Forget your time: whatever you do as a first-timer will be a Personal Best!
  • Drink loads, and walk whilst drinking. (Couldn't stop peeing for three hours after the race!)
  • Enjoy the race - don't be too worn out to savour the moment!
  • Thank God for Lucozade Energy Gel!
  • It might have been a good plan to stay only 5 minutes from the start in Greenwich - but what a long trip back with aching legs!

Thank you London: the people were fantastic, all the way around! Special thanks to the young girl who gave me £4.75 to give to Alzheimers as her grandma has the illness, and the lady on the Tube who gave me £10 - fantastic!

My Mum sat glued to the telly all day, and my stepfather, who cares for her, sent me a text saying "IF YOUR MUM KNEW WHAT YOU HAD DONE, SHE WOULD BE VERY PROUD!" That sums up this terrible disease, but somehow made it all worthwhile.

Ruthjst, 5:25

What were the best moments? The crowd everywhere was absolutely amazing – seeing my friends and family made me keep going a number of times. And running across Tower Bridge – every person in the crowd makes you feel as if you are the most important person in the world. Very humbling – you are never alone for a second.

And the worst moment? Just after halfway was much tougher than my training runs – realising how much was left and how much more it hurt than I expected. Finding the strength to carry on was difficult at times.

The biggest surprise? Finishing! And being able to sprint (ish) to the finish line. After that I don't remember much, apart from shaking hands with a gentleman who finished at the same time as me – all the other runners were so friendly and supportive.

The most memorable moment? Seeing someone in the crowd with a banner that read "pain is temporary, but quitting stays with you for life". That slogan stayed with me all the way round.

What would you do differently? I wish I'd had the strength and energy to call out and thank every person who shouted my name. If it's your first marathon like me and all you're aiming for is to finish, really soak up the atmosphere and talk to the crowd – whenever you finish you'll have a PB!

And what was the key to your success? Two things – the runnersworld website and forums – I know I sound like a creep, but as a new runner the articles and other members gave me so much invaluable advice and support. And most definitely, my boyfriend and my friends and family. They never tired of hearing me worry about it all, and they were the loudest supporters out there (in my opinion!) The didn't give up on me even when I wasn't so sure. I ran it for them. And I did it!

Kit-e Cat, 5:31:47

The best moment was seeing the countdown to the RW cheering station at mile 17 - followed closely by getting a hug and jelly babies from the ebullient Fran/Meerkat for Team 3.

The worst moment was having to drop off the 11-minute mile pacing group as I was feeling grim, and knowing my sub-5 time was gone. Or was it when I had to confess to my husband that I had been passed by a sumo wrestler, a 4-man caterpillar, a Star Wars soldier, a large tulip, to Mister Men and a rhino??

Worst temptation was wanting to turn everyone wearing a "Is this the way to Amarillo " bumper sticker round to run the opposite way!

Next time... I definitely won't take the kids round London the day before...

Lollykins, 7:24:06

This was my first marathon and it will definitely not be my last. I had been ill the week before and coughed for 2 hours the night before the marathon. I decided to start, even if I might not finish.

The best thing was the feeling of elation I had every step of the way. The support and cheering of the crowds, the enthusiasm of the children and the atmosphere of the day was overwhelming and I was sometimes very emotional. I was constantly being carried along by their encouragement.

The most memorable moment was seeing a giraffe using a portaloo.

The worst moment? I had been running until Mile 17 when I stopped for a comfort break, and to my horror found that my legs had seized up and I had to sit down for 10 minutes.

I eventually got up and joined a walker, Kathy, who due to back injury was unable to run. Our camaraderie was great, we were so glad that we had found each other because the next 8 miles were very gruelling.

At Big Ben, I bid Kathy adieu and shot off like bat out of hell... I crossed the finish line grinning and running!

The biggest surprise was the difference the crowds can make to you. When I had nothing left in the tank, their encouragement just kept me going.

Next time, I would not participate if I was ill, and I would make sure that I had at least one running season under my belt before launching into a marathon build-up, to make sure that I did not have these overtraining injuries. I would also hang onto a water bottle so that if the water stations ran out of water I would have some with me. Also... don't bother with text messaging on the day - my friends sent me loads and I got them on the Tuesday after!

Key to success? Put your name on the front and back of your running top! Mind over matter - my cough "miraculously" disappeared for 8 hours!

A day which I will never forget, a truly life-changing event, worth every ounce of effort.

Kerzo, 7:09:30

This was my first marathon. I am a very slow walk/runner and got the urge to do the marathon while watching it last year. I entered a few shorter races between October and early April to prepare, but I didn't do as much training as I could have. In the two half-marathons I did, I came last - followed by the ambulance each time (very off-putting).

I really enjoyed the whole experience, the crowds and the other runners were fantastic. It was a totally brilliant atmosphere.

The worst bit was at about 13-14 miles where I could see the people coming though miles 21-22, on the other side of the road. That was partly because it seemed such a long way away; and also because of some of the runners who collapsed - I did wonder what I would be like by the time I got there.

My husband (Mr Kerzo), sister and her chap were at mile 17 with RW support team 4. They waited for me, even though I took ages. After a much-needed Milky Way (the best I have ever tasted, except for another at the finish) and turning down a huge bottle of Stella (why??) I felt much better. Later on in Canary Wharf the gang met me again and really perked me up.

My best moment was going past a pub somewhere in the East End - they all started cheering my name - it was fantastic.

Strangely enough, I found the marathon easier than I thought I would. I never doubted that I would finish, but did think my feet and legs would be in bits. The crowds really helped - it was like being on the red carpet with people calling your name. My jaw ached from grinning.

Two days later, although I'm a bit stiff, have a couple of blisters and a couple of toenails that look distinctly unpleasant, I'm actually looking forward to applying for next year. They must put something in the water!

I've been carrying my medal about with me showing anyone who asks - and a few who haven't. If anyone doubts I did it, I threaten to show them my toenails!

Monica Browning, 5:13

Great race for me, a first-timer! I always said I'd do a marathon before I was 30. I would recommend it to anyone and would definitely definitely definitely do it again!

I started running 2 years ago and was inspired by my first half-marathon in 2004. Then I was out for 6 months with heel injury and started training for Marathon in January 2005.

I only ran 3 times a week but was motivated by the Tuesday sessions with the Wimbledon Windmilers! Thank you!

My longest training run was 18 miles. My top tip would be to try and do longer training run.

On the day all was going to plan (10-minute miling - ish) until mile 19 and then my right knee went.... or something in the right knee went. I had to slow to a walk, got rid of the pain and started running again. Unfortunately the pattern continued until I practically had to half walk, half run (5 paces each) the last 5 miles of the course, finishing in 5hrs 13..... BUT finishing!

Nonetheless, a spectacular experience, beautiful, emotional, inspiring - particularly for me to see who was running and for what causes.

I was running to raise money for Bristol Cancer Help Centre, because my mum had breast cancer (and is very fortunately now recovered) 10 years ago. I was at Bristol Uni and Bristol Cancer Help Centre helped both myself and my family to get information that we needed. My target was £1300 and I have managed to raise well over £2000 thanks to my generous friends and family.

This was the most tremendous experience.

Top Moment: Crossing mile 19 knowing I'd not done that distance before

Lowest Moment: Mile 23 - thinking I still had 3 miles to go and was practically walking all the way...

Other Monumental Highs: Music and all the bands, crowd, seeing people who were running for their children who had died, carrying a balloon with me so people could shout my name, having friends and family supporting, stopping in an East End pub, all the costumes, Tower Bridge, Isle of Dogs (despite what everyone says)... IT'S ALL GOOD!

Hutchy, 5:01:27

Best moment? The various people shouting my name all the way round, what a boost, what an atmosphere.

Worst moment? Realising that the sun was getting the better of me and that my poor build-up due to injuries and illness was going to ruin any hopes of a respectable time( for me)... 22 miles on was truly horrible!

Biggest surprise? Not needing the loo! at all! Not getting the usual runners stomach problems at all! Feeling at the end that if I consumed another jelly baby I would feel ill (never happened).

Do differently? Not overeat when injured. Every pound extra was a nightmare to carry round for 26 miles.

Still chuffed though! Keri.xxxxxxx

mdshec, 5:18:41

Let me start with a little story of my time leading up to the marathon. I started my training plan last September and was on a good schedule, slowly building my long runs and having no pain with the gradual increase. Then in December I got forced off the road by a car and injured my left foot.

By January 15, my running came to a screeching halt. After a 5-mile run I could barely walk on my left foot. I was diagnosed with a stress fracture and told not to run or put any stress on it for 6 weeks and then only light exercise for 2 weeks. This brings me up to March 15 and leaving me only 1 month to get ready for the Marathon.

This was a tough month: I took my dog with me on a lead to keep me slow - this plan worked. Within the 2 weeks I was back up to 12 miles or so in about 2 hours. I was no longer counting miles but counting time on feet running. Thanks to my friends Darren Baker, Christine Anthony and Neil Anthony I was able to get these long runs in on soft ground combined with hills to build strength.

They helped me out so much on race weekend, by giving me the mental strength, a place to stay in London and a great pasta feast, not to mention fighting the crowds in the London Underground to cheer me on around the course. I really don't think I could have done it without them. I would also like to thank my wife Doris for pushing me out the door in that final month, nagging at me and reminding me that I only had so much time left.

Now onto the actual marathon...The best moment had to be seeing the sign that said only 800m to go. Seeing that sign lifted my spirits so much that I was able to dig deep down and put in what felt like a sprint finish after over five hours of jogging. God definitely answered my short prayer I said just before the race started to just give me the strength to finish.

The worst moment had to have been at 19 miles when my back muscles became so sore and tight that I honestly didn't think I was going to finish. I stopped at 20 miles and went to the side to stretch them out and the crowd was so great they tapped me on the shoulder and said 'you are almost there; don't quit now'. I then started to walk and after about 5 minutes was able to jog again.

I made it to the 22 mile marker and once again almost dropped out because of back pain, but once again the people cheering me on saying 'don't stop, you can do it, only 4 miles more' gave me the strength to continue. After a short walk I started to jog again and stopped occasionally to stretch just to start jogging again.

The biggest surprise had to have been a young lady named Susan. She was running in a string bikini with her name written across her bum. That was definitely the last thing I expected to see at a marathon.

The most memorable moment was when I came up to the Tower Bridge - I knew this was about the halfway mark but it just didn't seem like I had gone that far. My legs and body still felt fairly fresh, I looked at my watch and thought I could definitely make my goal time frame of 4:20:00 - 4:30:00.

What would I do differently? Not participate in a marathon after only 1 month of training. What was the key to my success? Friends, my faith that God would answer my prayer for the strength to finish, and all the supporters telling me to keep going.

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