My 2005 London Marathon

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


Posted: 24 April 2005

5 HOURS+ (Page 7) Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Debbs, 5:52

I had a brilliant day - the best day out I've had for ages!

I decided to run FLM for St Joseph's Hospice in Hackney, which looked after my dad for the last few weeks of his life - so doing this really meant something to me.

I thought the weather was supposed to be cloudy with sunny intervals and I can remember at mile 10 wondering where the hell the clouds were! I got really sunburnt on the back of my neck (note to me: remember sun block next time. And yes, there will be a next time!)

I can remember turning a corner and seeing Tower Bridge and becoming quite emotional. Someone from the hospice was there on the other side with a big cheer and a camera. The Runner’s World support crew at mile 17 were brilliant, and my thanks go to them as I was in a bit of pain with a dodgy calf muscle.

Disaster struck at around mile 20 when the muscle became very painful and I was reduced to a walk for a while. I had to shuffle/walk the rest of the way but managed to come across the finish with a sort of a run - crying again!

Meerkat and the others did a brilliant job of organising the support group and I would like to give a massive thanks again to them. It makes a big difference to know that there will be people around who, although you may not know them personally, know exactly how you are feeling and are rooting for you.

I learned a lot on the day and hope to put this to good use when I start the build up for my next marathon, probably at the end of October.

Well done to everyone!

Sezz, 5:03

What was the best moment? Definitely mile 17. It was such a lift to my spirits to see my friends there and get vital jelly babies, Nurofen and hugs! Plus it meant the mileage left was into single figures.

And the worst moment? Miles 19-22. Really tough mentally and physically, especially in the heat

The biggest surprise? The crowds. Yes, I'd been told the support from the public would be great, but I was blown away by the sheer amount of people that had come out to cheer, shout and wave. I don't think there was one spare inch on the course where there wasn't a spectator. Fabulous!

The most memorable moment? The marshall at the end of Birdcage Walk announcing that there was only 800m to go. Suddenly I went up a gear, the eye floodgates opened and the finish was in sight.

What was the key to your success? Not looking at my watch! I'd been just about keeping up with my pace band until mile 10, then gave up and thought, sod it, I'm just going to enjoy the experience of my first-ever marathon. If I'd worried about losing pace, I might have pushed myself too much and suffered. I then just kept going, never stopping to walk, and forgot about the time until I saw Big Ben. I knew I wouldn't get my hoped-for 4:45, but hell, I was just about to finish FLM for goodness sake!

What would I do differently? Not panic so much beforehand and hopefully not get injured 3 weeks before the race!

Wabo and Sue, 6:00

Wabo's poem 2005
This poem is for my mate Sue and sums it all up... we ran together in six hours.

The year Sue turned fifty, it had to be done,
’cos she has two medals and hubby plus one!
We took on the challenge, we started our 'plan' -
to be Penguins, together, each week we ran!
Then along came the first blow, Sue got the Flu,
three weeks with no running, 'Oh what shall we do?'
I said 'never fear Sue, in me put your trust!'
We'll do this damn run, we will sh*t or bust!
Then some weeks ago, Sue came down with a bug,
three weeks on the bench we could just sit and shrug
The six weeks gone by saw us at Vic Park,
We plodded, we laughed - Oh we made our mark!
And now mate, we've done it, we both knew we would,
We raised tons of money - that's all to the good!
We had some battles, with ankles and heat
But 'Daft Doris' and 'Dafter Daphne' do not know defeat!

Lyndylou, 6:49

What a day! Last year I said never again, and this year I mean it!

I started off at the red start, and soon found the Get You Round pacer and latched on to them, much to the surprise of the friends running with me.

I kept with them easily until, horror of horrors - excruciating stomach cramps. I had never experienced anything like it during a race and it made me feel so drained. I managed to keep on running/walking up to 14 miles, but then had to resort to walking - my legs felt like leaded rubber.

The best moment by far was seeing my husband and son at 14 miles. After sobbing in their arms I plodded on and saw them again at 21 and 26 miles! It was brilliant - Mr Lyndylou had never made the finish before!

The biggest surprise was the support I got from having my name on my vest. Soon realised that if I gave a wave and a smile to everyone who cheered me on it was like a Mexican wave of cheers, especially at The City Pride when I was 'marching' to the music - ALL JUST FOR ME!

I managed my usual run from the 26-mile marker - can't be seen to be walking at the finish! As I said, what a fantastic day, but I promised hubby I won't be doing it again. After four FLMs and 10 grandchildren, it's time to hang up the marathon running shoes.

I’ll really miss it, and am in floods of tears watching the video, but enough is enough. Time to help son number two train as he is now convinced he wants to do it next year - we'll see.

Well done everyone and good luck in all your running ventures.

Lyndylou, signing off from marathons for ever - boo hoo!

Kate Mahony, 5:06

What can I say other than I feel so proud and pleased with myself having just run my first ever marathon in 5:06, and no toilet stop!

The best moment was just being there in Greenwich Park on Sunday morning knowing that this was it, along with thousands of other runners like me, first timers, seasoned runners, the lot. I felt so privileged to be part of the 25th London Marathon.

My worst moment was overcoming miles 20-23 and wanting to walk. But I didn't. I had lots of encouragement from my running partner, who was urging me to keep going, and I did, running all the way.

For me, there isn’t one single most memorable moment (apart from the sight of the finish and knowing I'd done it), but many moments. The sights of London I've haven't seen for many years, the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and with them the tremendous support of the crowds and the glorious sunshine.

Part of my key to success was the advice and tips I read month by month in the magazine and the weekly e-mails. I know it was me running on the day, but in my training I felt I was improving by putting into practice the advice given, especially for the long runs, I didn't know there would be so much to take in; diet, drinking stretching before and after etc. etc.

So a big thank you to Runner’s World in many ways - I couldn't have done it without you!! Keep up the good work.

Fancy, 5:05

This was my first marathon, and I was running with an injury (weren't we all?), which was quite fresh and which by mile 19 was giving me real trouble.

The first 12 or so miles flew by like a dream - I loved singing "is this the way to Amarillo" with all the supporters and runners along the way, the singing Elvis, and all the bands. It was such an amazing atmosphere, I just felt like I was being carried along in it all rather than running it.

Turning the corner and seeing Tower Bridge was such a buzz as you knew you were close to halfway - and for me having supporters dotted about the course was a life saver. It started to go badly for me in between 19 and 22 miles when my foot was in agony and I kept having to stop, I couldn't remember which mile I was on, and was close to tears. Again, the supporters really lifted me – in particular one girl who was shouting my name and told me what that we were doing was amazing.

After that, I had to have a stern word with myself and pulled myself together. By mile 24 I could see my NSPCC cheering site in the distance and thought I was going to cry again when they started shouting my name - then saw my brother leaning over about four people and shouting like hell for me. That gave me my final push for the end; I blew a kiss to Big Ben and did my best for the line. Crossing the line, I was totally ecstatic, then burst into tears. I couldn't understand how the guys taking the chip off my shoe knew my name - I was completely bewildered by that stage.

It was such an amazing day that I think it's taken a couple of days for it to sink in. I did just over five hours in the end - I was hoping for about 4:40 but a dodgy foot and an unscheduled loo stop didn't help. I can't wait to tackle the next one, as I know I can do better and I am ready... I just need to be able to get a foot flat on the floor beforehand!

All in all, a completely amazing, painful, emotional day!

Englandergirl, 5:03

I had a great second marathon – despite worrying that I wouldn’t be able to complete it. I tore some ankle ligaments six weeks before the race, and so missed all the long training runs. I proved to myself the power of positive thought and listening to good professional advice. The only down side to the whole day was being overtaken by a centipede as I went through one of my more difficult moments at Canary Wharf.

Am I going to do it again? You bet!

K2, 5:14

This was my fourth London. The training went well but I was worried that I'd wrecked it all by working at the expo on Thursday and Friday. It was great fun, though, and I didn't have time to worry.

I met several forumites at the start on race day, and set off with Icy Passion when the gun went, our aim being to take it steady at about 12-minute mile pace. After eight miles she told me to go on ahead. Mr K2 appeared and gave me a cheer soon afterwards.

I planned to run to the halfway point (the furthest I'd run without a walking break). I felt okay when I got there, so thought I'd see how far I could keep running. Looking out for familiar faces distracted me on the highway.

I was taking a gel every three miles or so, keeping an eye on the GPS and was still on target. The stop at the 17-mile RW supporters point was brief - I had my hug and grabbed a bag of jelly babies. After a couple, I decided that they weren't a good idea for me, and handed the remains of the bag to a small boy. He looked slightly confused, to say the least.

Things started to go slightly haywire soon after that: my pace seemed to have slowed considerably and I didn't seem to be getting any further according to the GPS, which was reading 18 miles at the 20-mile point. From then on I had to run without having any idea of overall pace (there was no chance of me doing any calculations after 20 miles!).

Soon after that I caught up with Shades, Devon Babe and JaneE2, but couldn't keep up with them. Then, to my great surprise, I passed them and just kept on. Now turning in to Parliament Square I was so close to the finish and I wasn't going to walk now that I'd come this far. On Birdcage Walk I was treated to very loud and enthusiastic cheering by the WaterAid supporters and could then see the bend near the Victoria Memorial.

Seeing the finish was such a treat - my fifth marathon, 5:14:26 - 11 minutes 31 seconds faster than last year. Six years and five days since I started running (on the day before my 50th birthday) and at last I can honestly say that I've run a marathon!

Best moment: knowing that I'd run all the way.

Worst moments: leaving Icy after mile eight, missing Mr K2 later on the way round.

Biggest surprise: that I ran it all.

What I would do differently - absolutely nothing.

Key to my success - more long training runs, appreciating the moment, warm weather.

Most memorable moment: overtaking two men who were running behind a tall, slim woman wearing a pair of short shorts with "Nothing butt the best" on them. The conversation went like this:

    K2 - I bet you're not trying very hard to overtake!

    Man - I am: I've been trying to get past her for 16 miles but I just can't quite make it.

    (K2 and man pass the woman.)

    Man - B***er. I passed her.

    K2 - I bet your shoelaces come undone in a minute.

    Man - I think you might be right.

Loopyloo, 5:49

I should like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Legless and UltraMeerkat for all their support at mile 17. The support from them, my friends and family and the charity that I raised money for was much appreciated and gave a much needed boost at some hard times. The support will definitely be remembered among my best moments.

Other best moments included the landmarks we ran past, all the entertainment along the way, seeing runners in fancy dress (and wondering how on earth they managed to run wearing costumes!), chatting to other runners and hearing their stories, and last but not least, being able to slip into a loo without there being a queue!

My worst moment was feeling my left knee 'go' at nine miles and realising I wouldn't be able to equal last year's time, let alone beat it. However, from the 20-mile stage when I 'power-walked' to the end, the pressure was off and I had a great time.

A surprise moment? Despite all the thousands of runners, I met up with my pal Orient65, even though we started running from different points. Another surprise was hearing my name over the tannoy at the end of the run, after having waved to the commentator!

What would I do differently? Nothing. I enjoyed training with other forumites, namely Debbs, Orient65, Jason L and his friend Phil, and also running with our mentor, Legless. For me, the whole experience was greater than just the run itself and I had a great time.

Mrs M, 5:07

What a day. I’d been aiming for it for 12 months and training seriously (day-by-day schedule on the fridge – it looks v empty now!) since 3 January.

The best bit was seeing my lovely supporters as planned at the BHF cheering points at miles eight, 18 and 24. The worst was not seeing them as expected on Tower Bridge at mile 12, especially as that's when I was supposed to be doing a Camelbak swap. Had to do a bit of jiggery-pokery at the water station round the corner. I completed the marathon in 5:07 (it might have been quicker - I kept forgetting to stop the clock when I had to queue for the loo!). I’m absolutely thrilled. I ran it for the BHF in memory of my Dad, who died at the not at all ripe old age of 43. My Mum reckons he'd be really proud, and that's enough for me.

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