My 2005 London Marathon

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


Posted: 19 April 2005

SUPPORTERS (Page 2) Page 1 2
Nicko

I marshalled at mile 11, and the smiles and thanks I got mean more to me than the medal and T-shirt they gave me for helping. I give mine away to children anyway - this year it was Ratbag's future step-granddaughter. To see the look on their faces is worth more than keeping something I didn't earn properly.

When the likes of Plodding Hippo, Sezz, and Evil Pixie run up and give me an "I'm so glad to see you Nicko" hug, it makes the hours of time I spend standing on my little island in the middle of the road worthwhile. Not to mention giving away all those jelly babies, chocolates, and of course, Hippo's gin and tonic (which Bear Behind managed to snaffle a drink of).

As a person who's done the FLM a couple of times, I can appreciate the amount of hours of training people put in, and the feeling of euphoria which can overwhelm you sometimes as you look at the crowds waving and encouraging you on. I am now one of those Waving, Cheering, Encouraging, and Helping people. And I'm so proud to be able to to do this.

And I cant wait till NEXT YEAR, and the year after that. Because guys I will be there again for you all: it gives me more pleasure doing that than finishing the actual run itself. See you in 2006.

Helegant

Helegant (far right) in Mile 17 Support Team 3

A sunburned Helegant reporting in after a safe journey home. Initial impressions:

1. Seeing Paula looking relaxed and very speedy, and then waiting and waiting, whispering to each other, "Where are they?" as the minutes ticked past and no other runners appeared.

2. Some of the wheelchair athletes struggling to get up the slope at Mudchute, and cheering them as loudly as possible to will them on.

3. Sweaty hugs and smiling faces from appreciative runners.

4. Missing all the celebrities, but spotting most of the forumites, catching up with people, enjoying sun and smiles.

5. Meerkat yelling 'Come on three blue people with furry things on heads', and other such encouragements.

6. Singing 'Happy Birthday' to Fraggle.

7. And of course, the amazing and selfless organisation by Meerkat who is unremittingly encouraging to all, works behind the scenes to get everyone organised and ensure that every runner feels looked after. Well done Meer, and thank you.

Thanks RW for your support as well, I'll look forward to the photos.

Emily Sparrow

Best moments: What a fantastic London Marathon, from the other side of the fence anyway! The number of spectators lining the streets of London this year was amazing and it was great to be a part of it.

It was my boyfriend's first marathon and I have now realised that I have become a 'marathon wife' - our future holidays all being determined by where there is a marathon planned! Not that I mind; I loved being involved in the anticipation and preparation for the big day, from writing his name on his running vest, to getting up earlier than he did to get a good viewing position... but then not spotting him at all! (Worst Moment!)

What I'd do differently: Ensure he wore a different colour vest than yellow (a popular colour this year!) and to arrange to meet somewhere other than under the 'WXYZ' sign at the end (seemed 35,000 runners and their supporters all had the same idea!)

Well done to everyone who took part. I am, as ever truly in awe of anyone who even contemplates running a marathon and on top of that manages to raise so much money for good causes.

Looking forward to supporting next year's marathon (but never, ever running it!)

Mr Slug (on behalf of himself and Ima Slug)

As a Runner's World supporter virgin I wasn't sure what to expect from the support teams. They were great in making us feel welcome and useful. Here Meerkat, Lady Lucan, Meldy and Legless deserve a special mention. It was interesting to meet some of the forumites who before now had been a number of computer pixels and turned out to be real flesh and blood (shock, horror)...

I was really impressed with everybody's professionalism in pre-planning. Posters,pictures with the necessary clips,balloons and string,lists of who was expected and when plus their requirements.Take a gold star and go to the top of the class!

I did find it strange that I didn't see one "celebrity" except for good old Paula, because I was too busy looking out for the forumites. All in all I had an excellent time and if I don't get accepted for the FLM next year, I will be more than happy to repeat the experience. My compliments to you all.

Stickless

Stickless (right) with BB

Another year, another sunny one, and I am on the wrong side of the railings yet again.

Do not misunderstand me. The pleasures of Mudchute are considerable. First there is the anticipation. We look at our watches, the clear road, the orderly tables of opened water bottles, and hope to be the first to spy the vehicles that will clear the way for our Paula.

It was a thrill to watch her two years ago, and every bit a thrill this year, already on her own, well clear and flying.

The elite ladies we were able to pay due attention to, cheering each by name and number, so that we were all hoarse even before the wheelchairs began to come through. That is a hard pull for the wheelchairs. Further down their pack the effort was almost painful to watch as they crested the rise.

The elite men then arrive, making it all look easy. From then the composition of the pack gradually changes. Eventually there are those who even walk to drink their water. A youngster scampering by the side of the road collects and clears the used bottles. He will not long succeed in this self-appointed task.

At the height of the crush it is hardly possible to scan the crowd for familiar faces. We know their times, and worry when one is late, rejoice to see another bang on target, read their faces to try and gauge how their race is going.

Then gradually it becomes worthwhile leaning over the railings, reaching as far as possible to offer bananas and jelly babies, a companionable form of fishing, whereing the "catch" is supposed to escape with the bait unhooked. Familiar faces stop, and hugs all round share the sweat between runners and watchers.

The moving carpet of people continues. Would I be in this part of the pack, amongst the slower rhinoceri? Or even slower?

My people are yet to come. The ones who walk more than they run, with slow uneven steps.

Next year. I must get brave. Hang the ballot. I must Just Do It.

Time though, and I must just go, before "My people" make it to mile 17. I have promises to keep, a runner to meet, and miles to go before either of us sleep.

Roll on 2006. I shall try the view from the other side. Promise

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