My 2005 London Marathon

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


Posted: 24 April 2005

5 HOURS+ (Page 8) Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Rach, 5:20

FLM '05 - my third and slowest marathon! I managed to meet up with my mate Snoop at the four-mile mark. The plan was that he would pace me round to a 4:30 PB. The first half went so well, I really thought I'd do it, but then nausea and stomach cramps hit just after the half-way mark. By 15 miles I'd given up on the PB and wondered if I'd even finish. A huge thank you to Snoop for staying with me and making sure that I did even though he had to wait ages for me outside some pretty grotty pub loos!!

The forumite support was absolutely fantastic. The highs? That big kiss from Nicko at 11 miles… Tiger popping up to give me a hug several times along the way…. the lovely smiling forumites at mile 17 - the kind words and cuddles helped so much… the deafening crowd support as you turn off Embankment knowing you're just ten minutes from the finish - I must admit to a few emotional tears at that point! And the very best bit, lying on the grass in the sunshine in the park with a medal round my neck!

The lows? I’m trying hard to forget them, actually…..

Frankie Phillips, 5:27

As a complete newbie to running, having only run two miles this time last year, I can't believe that I actually made it around, and only had to start walking around mile 20. Seeing the rhinos, Scooby Doos, Tiggers, camels and other besuited runners was a humbling experience, and really inspired me to carry on.

Memorable moment? I was so close to tears as I saw the amazing crowds at Greenwich and Cutty Sark, I just didn't prepare myself for the reception and the thousands of people shouting my name or just shouting 'daffodil hat', knowing that they meant me! And that just kept happening over and over again.

The hardest part has just got to be the stretch after Tower Bridge, going in the opposite direction to the faster runners; hats off to them, though. And cheers to all the lovely pub patrons who raised their glasses to us.

Plans to do it differently next time? Get in the toilet queue at the start much earlier so that I can enjoy the build-up rather than missing the start gun.

Biggest surprise? I didn't see the first mile marker, so thought I was running way behind my plan... then I saw mile two!

At 5:27 I managed to hit the vague target I'd set of 5:00-5:30, and the feeling of crossing that line will live with me forever, just like my wedding day... Fortunately my husband was there to share both with me!

Scoops, 5:54

What a fantastic day, third time lucky in the ballot. I ran in memory of my mum: I had that on the back of my shirt, and every time someone said, 'your mum would be proud of you, Sue,' I blubbed.

Going over Tower Bridge was the best moment - just the sight of it towering above. I hadn't really done enough training, but I ran for 16 miles, then my hips ached so ran/walked the rest. I didn't mind - I got a great sun tan, and taking longer I had time to really soak up the atmosphere. It was great to have the RW supporters at mile 17.

The noise of the crowds shouting out my name often made me start running again, and near the end I thought I had two miles left, but it was only one, so I managed to find some more petrol and ran most of it. I blubbed again going over the finish.

I’ve been asked if I would do it again, as much as I enjoyed it and had wanted to do it for so long, I wouldn't do it again. It was for my mum, a very special day, and that is how i want it to stay.

My time was a very slow 5:54:53, but it whizzed by for me. I was aiming for under six hours. A little blister under my toenail is the only damage done, my legs now are okay, so all in all I’m well chuffed.

Lame j-lard, 5:18

Well, there it is, I did it. Never in a million years did I think it would happen, but I've got the medal, the T-shirt and the pepperami (?) to prove it. And it was worth every gut-churning, leg-mashing, Lucozade-chucking step to cross that finish line and cry my eyes out to the bemusement of the official at the other side, who uttered the most beautiful words I've ever heard... 'It's okay love, you can stop now'.

It has to be one of the most amazing, terrifying and painful experiences ever (granted, I've never given birth!) From the cheerful, smiling start to the tearful, slogging end, picking one moment is almost impossible - made even more so by the brain-turned-to-mush syndrome, which made me question even what city I was in. Maybe it was running the first 10 miles feeling fantastic, with no hint of the shin splints of the past few weeks to spoil it. Or going around Cutty Sark, or over Tower Bridge: they might be cliches, but cliches exist for a reason.

Or maybe seeing my friends shouting and running alongside at mile 19 (them thinking it was mile 14) and asking 'how are you feeling?' (two words, one of them 'off'). Or the man along the Embankment saying to the little girl on his shoulder 'There goes Jane, say 'Come on Jane''. I can't decide.

And the worst? Going along the dual carriageway, seeing the quicker runners going the opposite direction, making the (very wrong) assumption that just around the corner we'd be turning back too... and of course, miles 20 to 25, where legs turn to cotton wool and brains go wonky. If only I'd had my training partner to tell me rubbish jokes to make me want to get away as fast as possible!

I can't describe the day properly, but the crowds have to be the most memorable and most uplifting part because they really do take you round. And I will be putting my name in much bigger letters next time (next time? Did I really say that?)

So, injury aside, doubts and niggles and panic attacks in the past, I can honestly say that yes, I enjoyed the marathon beyond all expectations, it makes me get something in my eye every time I think about it. And well done to all my friends who did it too (Christine, Gareth, Gil, Glenda). That first pint (of OJ, of course) never tasted so good.

Brandon K Lewis, 5:18

I was a first-time runner. When I agreed to do the marathon nine months ago I was three stone overweight (I have now lost over two stone, mainly thanks to the motivation I get from the stories in RW each month). I loved the experience and am almost tempted to do it again (but will decide after GNR). I cannot believe I can now really call myself a runner!

What a great day, your pacers were great and my most memorable moment was coming onto Tower Bridge. I have no shame as a grown man in admitting that the crowd and scene made me have to work hard not to shed a tear - it was amazing!

Worst moment? None, outside of miles 16-22.

Loupy Lou, 5:09

Loupy Lou (left)

The best moment? Seeing our supporters along the route at the seven-, 14- and 21- mile markers, and Sue and Jase at the 800m to go mark... helping and motivating Chris at mile 22 to get going again, and motivating a girl called Michelle to get them both to the end!

The worst moment? Around mile 16 when the heat was getting to me.

The biggest surprise? Seeing Sue and Jase at the 800m to go mark.

What would you do differently? I would lose two stone in weight prior to contemplating another marathon, so that I could beat my PB of 4:26! I couldn’t have done any more training, so it would probably have to be tougher training...

Kate Myott, 5:07

I have run my first (and probably last) marathon!

I managed to run all the way - finishing in 5:07 - I was thrilled to keep going and pass all those walkers in the last six or seven miles. I wasn’t expecting the sunny day, so was a bit hot, but the training worked and I felt fine - at least as far as 20 miles.

I had FAB support from Asthma UK and my lovely husband, who ran miles all over London to keep cheering for me! One of the greatest achievements of my life – I recommend it to anyone.

The highest point - seeing Tower Bridge and my husband!

Lisa Marsh, 7:45

My dream has always been to run the marathon before I turned 30, but I was never fit enough to sign up, until last year. I work as a receptionist for Help the Hospices, which was the official charity for the this year’s London marathon, and when we were told, I could not let the opportunity pass me by.

I started training in December in my lunch hours and at weekends running from 20 minutes on the treadmill to three hours on the road though the wind, cold, rain, snow, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

I did my stint at the marathon expo, meeting all our runners and giving support and advice. It was an amazing experience; when I heard the theme tune I felt very emotional. Instead of sitting in the armchair in my dressing gown with a cup of tea watching it on the television, I would actually be there running with the other 30,000 runners.

The day was fantastic. I made lots of friends along the way, the atmosphere was amazing and I will treasure my medal forever. Thanks!

Doctor Sam, 5:51

This was my third and final London Marathon, but what a contrast to last year when I stumbled in at over six hours with an injured knee and a nasty chest infection.

Although I'd nearly pulled out of this year's race at the end of February with knee and ankle problems, forumite friends on the sub-5 thread persuaded me to keep going and to try a run/walk schedule. I’m so glad I did - I finished in 5:51:28 feeling on top of the world.

The highlight? Well there were so many - from the brilliant crowds, to turning onto Tower Bridge feeling fantastic, to passing a certain GMTV presenter at 22 miles. I didn't find the weather too difficult - thankfully we've had some very unseasonal warm weather in the Hebrides during a couple of my long runs, so I was almost acclimatised.

I didn't hit the wall, although I retreated into my own little world for a while in Docklands repeating my mantra 'when the pain hits, I will dig in and run through it' ad infinitum. I remember stopping at the RW cheering point, mumbling something about being kn**kered and pushing on. At least Rich K got to enjoy my Guinness.

The real highlight was the last couple of miles, in which I've never felt so strong and focused during a long run. The crowds were outstanding and I felt as if I was flying along the Embankment and up Birdcage Walk as they urged me on. The worst thing was realising that this would be my last time and I found myself thinking 'maybe just one more'. But no, it would be hard to top 2005 and I want to remember the sun shining and the tears of happiness slipping down my face as I got my third and final medal.

Thanks to all on the sub-5 thread - couldn't have done it without you guys.

Stella Follows, 5:32

What was the best moment? Seeing my six-year-son and husband at 6, 13 and 24 miles. This really lifted my spirits.

And the worst moment? Having to use a portaloo that Glastonbury would have rejected; realising that I might miss the coach home.

The biggest surprise? Being allowed to use the pristine, white, porcelain toilet belonging to the five guys who were having a BBQ off Westferry Road.

What would I do differently? Get faster. I would like to achieve 4:30

What was the key to your success? Support. From the crowds, my family and from Runner’s World, via your website and magazine.

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