My 2005 London Marathon

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


Posted: 6 May 2005

4:00 TO 5:00 (Page 12) Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Susan Brown, 4:02

This was my second FLM and I thought I could not replicate the emotions and pain I had felt the first time - but it proved me wrong.

I find this event such a humbling experience when you see so many other people overcoming life's hurdles just to be taking part: a local policeman from our area who had overcome leukaemia to run this year, or the blind man being led. It makes my pain seem so little in comparison.

My family came down with me to provide the much-needed support at the end (I don't think I could come over the finish and not have someone I know there to greet me).

I was running for the Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Society. They did a superb job at the end, with one of the team providing a much-needed massage.

Last time round I took just over five hours, and this time I managed to come home in 4:02

My highlight of the day has got to be seeing the joy on my daughters' faces when they met Simon Thomas, the Blue Peter presenter, at the start of Pen 9 at the Blue Start Area - they were so happy, especially when he gave them his running jacket. He was such a pleasant person - I am sure he is bothered all the time for autographs, but it just did not seem like too much trouble to him.

My worst moment of the day: queuing patiently for the toilets only to have a lady come straight off the run into the loo I was about to go into. She obviously thought her need was greater than mine or her PB time was more important than mine.

Most memorable moment: having to pee between two parked cars at the start as the queue for the toilets were going to mean missing the start - amazing how running clears all inhibitions!

Key to my success: being consistent - not overdoing the training when it all felt good only to end up regretting it later. This I did first time around and ended up not being aloud to run for six weeks before the event.

Pep, 4:55

This was my first marathon - what a FANTASTIC day. Everything went as planned; the only thing I would have done differently is get to the start earlier.

The best moment was just after the last Lucozade drink stop, when we came out from out under the bridge. Hearing the crowds, seeing the 24-mile marker, I knew then I was going to make it. Then coming down Birdcage Walk I heard someone say 'only 800 metres to go' and I thought 'yes, I've done it' (what a feeling).

The worst moment: trying to dodge in and out of walkers when you have very tired legs.

The biggest surprise was the sun. Luckily I had decided to wear my baseball cap. I achieved both my aims: to finish in under five hours and to enjoy the day as much as possible. BRILLIANT!

Powder Hedgehog, 4:43

My best moment: running further non-stop than I have ever done before (18 miles) at a reasonable pace, despite the heat, and then managing to run the last mile, finishing in good order.

My worst moment: realising, having decided to walk for a while at mile 18, that both legs wanted to go into spasm and that from there on I was going to have to be very careful, do some stretching and walk/run the rest, which was fairly slow and painful.

The most memorable moment: tricky, as there were so many, but getting down to Tonbridge railway station to catch the 7.20am to London Bridge and finding the platform full of runners and spectators was certainly surprising. And looking up at Canary Wharf to see the sunlight reflected on the polished glass was memorable.

I would/should have done more long runs in my training, as on the day anything after mile 15 was always going to be uncharted territory, but I was well chuffed at finishing and I have already signed up for another (Kent Coastal marathon in September), where I hope to get nearer my target finish time of under 4:30.

Chippers, 4:50

It was my first marathon and my first visit to London, so both were going to be an experience for me. I travelled with my brother and his friend who have done the marathon for the last six years so are old hands at it.

The best moment for me was seeing my brother at mile 12 running in the opposite direction (oh, I wished I was at that spot at that time). Watching for him made me miss the mile-13 marker, and before I knew it I was on mile 14.

I was doing really well, just focusing on getting to mile 20, when I began to feel my toe rubbing and feeling worse every step. At mile 20 I spotted a St John's medical stop, so I diverted there to get a plaster, only to find that my toe had gone black and a plaster would not do a thing to help. The sock and shoe went back on and I set off on a run/walk.

I remember Cutty Sark, London Bridge and Canary Wharf, but I seemed to miss all the other landmarks till the London Eye. This was the most pleasing sight on the route because I knew by this point I didn't have far to go. The crowds were fantastic and kept me going all the way to the end even though I was in agony with my toe.

The worst moment was trying to get to my brother after the finish in the crowds. I was nearly crying with the pain in my toe but did not dare to take my trainer off. In the end I just headed for the tube to the hotel and found my brother and his wife there. I will certainly be doing the FLM next year and am hoping to hit my target time of 4:30 then.

Dotty Allan, 4:35

Well, what can I say? It was the most fantastic experience, the weather was great, it was just brilliant.

My leg did go into spasm at mile two, and remained that way until it became numb at about mile 12, but it held out for the finish. I managed to run every step of the way, avoid pouches of Lucozade (which I am sure runners trod on purposely to hose my legs!), air and land water-bottle missiles, runners with pointed elbows (apart from the very tall man who managed a clear shot straight into my shoulder) and large watch straps which can remove four layers of skin with a single scrape - and most importantly I did not get taken over by a rhino!

The best part was the crowd, the worst was the day after and deciding what to do with my life now that I have it back!

Andrew Neale, 4:55

One of the best days of my life - A lifetime ambition fulfilled!

I made it to the finish line in 4:55, slightly slower than my notional 'target' of 4:30, but it was such a very warm day that after 10 miles I stopped looking at my watch and just concentrated on reaching the end, which I did without stopping to walk at any time!

The main issue was avoiding dehydration and the regular water stations were very welcome. I also managed to avoid the dreaded 'wall' by taking it very steady in the first half, where I was 20 minutes slower than I had been for the Silverstone Half-Marathon last month.

It was a truly memorable occasion and the crowds were simply amazing; at times the noise was deafening and a real encouragement when the going got tough, (even better because of the tip to have my name on my shirt!). It was great to have my family there at the start and again at 24 miles on the Embankment offering their vocal and moral support. They looked great all decked out in 'Help the Hospices' T-shirts, headbands, sunflowers etc.

The emotion of the day was incredible, and the feeling when I turned into The Mall with the finish in sight was unforgettable! I then had the pleasure of speaking to Sue Barker after crossing the line (although not on camera!).

Other memorable moments: getting a hug and a kiss from the BBC's Sue Thearle as we tried to calm our nerves at the green start. Gordon Ramsay 'pushing' past me at three miles. Running past Cutty Sark, over Tower Bridge and the last three miles (past The Tower/along the Embankment/Parliament Square and Birdcage Walk)

I've watched the marathon on TV so many times that to actually be taking part and running in these areas was like a dream come true. It was difficult at times to take it all in and realise that I was actually there.

Worst moment: No question - seeing the poor chap being 'worked on' by the medics at 10 miles. I read on Monday that a 59-year-old died at that point. It puts everything into perspective, I guess.

Fundraising has exceeded my wildest expectations - it looks as though I will be somewhere around £4500!

A big 'thank you' to the organisers for a superb day.

Bobbylonglegs, 4:48

Wow, what a day! It was one of the best things I have ever done. The crowds were amazing, the weather was unexpectedly lovely and I felt like I was flying!

Best moment: seeing my family, friends and boyfriend along the route at various points. Also running along embankment towards mile 25 still feeling pretty fine and lapping up the amazing support from the crowds.

Worst moment: before the start - realising the toilet queues were about 50 deep and needing to go for a pee. Luckily there were some bushes close to hand...

The biggest surprise: How comfortable I felt throughout the race. The training runs had been so lonely, soul destroying and complicated by tummy problems that I was so amazed and overjoyed it was all right on the night (well, day).

I loved, loved, loved, the day and would even be inclined to contemplate another marathon (in spite of the training runs). The wonderful people that cheer, support and spur on the runners really make the event.

Hurrah for the London Marathon!

James Hunter, 4:14

Best moment: running the first two miles beside a member of the 100-Marathon Club, who had run all 25 London Marathons. It just brought home to me how big the occasion was.

Worst moment: mile 23, when my body started to shut down and cramp set in. Thank you to the first aiders, the woman with Jelly Babies and the water-station helpers for getting me going again.

Biggest surprise: How bad hitting the wall can be.

What I would do differently: have a bigger breakfast to avoid the wall.

Purplemed, 4:44

What a day! From the amazing start, which was like a festival, with the sun shining, music playing and happy faces everywhere, to running up Birdcage Walk to crowds cheering and chanting your name. It was indeed an emotional rollercoaster!

I had aimed to go sub-four, and was doing so well until mile 20, when I got tripped up at a water station, landed in a woman's arms, and promptly collapsed. They took me off to the St John Ambulance, from where I desperately tried to escape, since I had heard that if the SJA catch you, they make you stop!

After a 20-minute sit down, I was allowed to go on, as long as I walked the next two miles. But by this time, my quads had seized up something terrible. At mile 22 I started running, and with the crowds urging me on I managed to run to the finish. What a crazy day!

I was so pleased to have made it, and had an amazing day.

Things I would do differently: don't stop at mile 20, and drink more water!

My key to finishing: 100 per cent the little voice in my head telling me not to waste the months of training.

Eric Saunderson, 4:52

A wonderful and magnificent day. I finished in 4:52 for my first marathon - not bad for someone aged 58. I've been offered another run for next year with the NSPCC, my charity for this year too. I'm still euphoric about it and can readily bore for England at present.

Everything looked fantastic in the sunshine, including the girl running in a thong with her name emblazoned on her bottom.

Back to main stories index 4:00 to 5:00, page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Previous article
Gebreselassie Sets World 25K Record, Or Does He?
Next article
My 2005 London Marathon

 
TwitterStumbleUponFacebookDiggRedditGoogle


Discuss this article

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Smart Coach
Free, fully-personalized training plans, designed to suit your racing goals and your lifestyle.