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 13) Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Howard Hopkins, 4:06

I moved to London in 1980 to work for the BBC and watched with awe when the First London Marathon was run the following year. I started training the next week for the 1982 Marathon, but failed to get a place in the ballot. My running tailed off after that, but it has been a dream to run the race ever since.

I started running again three years ago and applied for a place in the 2003, 2004 and 2005 ballot, and got in this year. The excitement in our house has grown from the moment I got the acceptance magazine.

Despite a fair few scares with injuries, I managed to complete my training schedule pretty much to plan. Then on Friday I developed a pain in my right foot (three days after my last run) which just got worse. Saturday morning it was no better so I found a sports injuries clinic who saw me straight away.

After 30 minutes loosening my foot the specialist said it might get better but that there was a chance I had a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal. I went to have it X-rayed at the local hospital. There I was, less than 24 hours away from the start, not knowing if I was going to run or not! It was alright, the doc gave me some anti-inflammatory pills and wished me luck. Then I went home for lots of ice and hot water bottles.

After that the race was a breeze, just the most exhilarating experience ever.

The best bits were doing high fives with the crowds lining the course, seeing my family three times and at 25 miles seeing 11-year-old Daniel, who has Cystic Fibrosis, waving to me, a real tearful moment. I have to say that the organisation was fantastic. It was most definitely a day I will never forget.

Annick Hollins, 4:30

Absolutely brilliant! What an awesome day - the atmosphere amongst the runners from the start to the finish was nothing but spectacular, and as for the crowd, well, words cannot describe their amazing support. I managed to produce my best marathon time of 4:30.

But my greatest achievement was 'not doing a Paula'. I managed the whole course without stopping to go to the loo! I was well chuffed - as a 42-year-old mother of three that was one hell of an achievement (anyone that knows me will understand!)

What a killer those last five miles were - but so sweet the feel of that medal!

Congratulations to every single person who took part in the whole London Marathon 2005 experience - you can't beat it.

Higo, 4:15

I had been training since before Christmas for the FLM, but I picked up a fairly serious injury which stopped me training for the whole of January. (Total credit goes to Ann Brentnall of Derbyshire Sports Injuries Clinic who got me back running.) When I did recover, I was pleased with my training and efforts.

I got to London on Saturday lunchtime, and registered at the Exhibition in the Docklands. Then back to the hotel. I had a big fear of going on the ale the night before, but thankfully I overcame the temptation and went to bed at 9.30pm.

From the start I quickly settled into a comfortable pace which I planned, and the crowds were fantastic, bands playing, a vicar blessing us etc.

My wife and kids and my Mum and Dad were there to support me on Tower Bridge at mile 13. It was a massive lift to see them, I reached over the railings for a kiss!

I passed through halfway at 1:55, bang on my plan although at this time the heat and sunshine were having an effect on me, other runners were already walking and struggling. My heart rate was much higher than in training. I knew at this stage I would have to slow down in order to finish without the need for a stretcher. So sensibly I did and I kept on running all the way to the finish. Mentally you are up and down all the time, there were 36,000 runners, 500,000 spectators, you are there on your own. Have you got the will power to keep running through the mental pain, the physical pain and the heat?

My supporters were there at mile 23, joined by my brother and friend and his family. Again it was a massive lift and I knew I'd do it, my brother and friend ran about 250 yards alongside me - it was brilliant. I ran the rest of the race thinking it's the best thing in the world to have such a strong family and to be loved by the best wife and kids, parents and brother in the whole wide world.

I soaked up the atmosphere and the crowds to the end with a massive smile on my face. The shouts of "come on Higo" from complete strangers was just fantastic. Marathon running is an event where you can do exactly the same as the world's elite, and it makes you feel wonderful.

I ran down the last mile thinking "where does the f-ing Queen live" as I couldn't see Buckingham Palace! I got there in the end - it's a huge blur really, and I crossed the line in 4:15:29, 14,461th out of 36,000.

Then the tears came - I'd done it, after all the hard work, focus and determination, I'd actually run 26.2 miles. I proved impossible is nothing, pride is everything.

The feeling of achievement is immense - I would recommend marathon running to anyone, and if I can do it then anyone (apart from my dear Nana!) can. It was so good that I've entered New York in November and plan to do Paris next April. All three in a year!

Simonlala, 4:52

What concerned me about the first three miles was my heart rate. I had trained for 30 weeks at 140 beats per minute and yet the first three slow miles were coming in at 153 beats per minute. Looking back, I guess this was a mixture of adrenaline and lack of sleep.

I was running with a bloke who was training to be a doctor in Newcastle. He'd started talking to me in the first mile mark and everything about the run was going fine, even through we went through halfway at 2:06, four minutes ahead of my 10-minute mile target.

I started feeling a bit odd at mile 10 when my chest tightened up a bit. Not enough to stop, but enough for me to be aware of it. The trainee doc just suggested I take some water at the next available point. It was at the next water point I lost the doc who disappeared behind me and I did not dare stop for fear of not re-starting!

At 17 miles the pain kicked in massively. My knees (which were dodgy before Sunday) seized up and I couldn't get them to bend sufficiently to run. At this point thought of nine more miles was incredibly demoralising, but the thought of not finishing was not an option. I kept going for another mile or so with a mixture of walking and running and then just stopped. I stretched my legs, went to the loo and had some Lucozade. This stop lasted for 10 to 15 minutes, and when I re-started I decided to walk to the next mile marker.

From then on, it was case of doing everything I could just to keep going. I started by deciding to run a mile and then walk a bit. This became too much and my chest was hurting, so I decided to run for two minutes and then walk a minute; this too became too much until I was walking and running for a minute at a time. It was quite funny because I found out that to run in a lot of pain from chest, knees, feet etc.. was taking me 12 minutes a mile, whilst walking fast at a much more controlled pace with less impact was only taking me 15 minutes mile. As the time was slipping away I really wanted to finish in a time less than 5 hours.

If I'd seen any family or friends from 21 miles onwards I would have found it hard not to have become a tad emotional. It was hard, so very, very hard, and this is coming from someone who regards himself as being reasonably fit.

For the last mile and a half I was trying to run as much as possible, mainly spurred on by the fact that I knew my wife Nicole, my Mum, my two sisters and other friends would be lining the roads and I wanted for them to see me running. Eventually it was at the 26-mile mark that I finally heard a scream from my right and I turned to see Nicole. I plodded over, gave her a kiss on the cheek then continued round the last corner to the finish. Across the line I felt terrible. I sat down at the entrance to the St John Ambulance tent for 30 minutes feeling as though I was having a mental and physical breakdown. I was desperately to eat or drink something but I felt as though I was just going to bring it straight back up. Eventually I recovered enough to get a Lucozade down and a recovery sports bar but still felt appalling.

I swore there and then that I would never ever even contemplate doing something like that again. It was just so horribly hard. I hobbled to the over-crowded meeting point - it feels as if I've broken a bone in the outside of my right foot, but it may just be strained - and met up with my family and friends. With then went off to Kensington Park and ate lots of pizza before going home to a much-needed early night.

In summary, never again. I did it in 4:52, having set myself a pre-run target of 4:25 to 4:45, but people should not have to feel pain like that! With the help of friends, family workmates etc.. I did raise £1000 for the NSPCC which has gone some way to making the sunburn and pain a little more worthwhile the day after.

Oddly enough, by the following Wednesday, having recovered a little and watched the races on the television, I was desperate to do it again next year, if nothing else just to prove to myself that I can do better!

Mark Coleman, 4:26

4:26... gutted!

It all started swimmingly, well almost, in the loo when the race started ... oops! Then I had to run to the start ... oops again!

I had a very easy first 13 miles, then wallop, an asthma attack at 16 miles which meant I had to treat the last 10 miles as 10 1-mile races, sheer pain, not being able to breathe ... ... but I did it and I actually met up with my mate for a very slow last three miles. The crowds were fantastic.

Never again ... well probably next year! This race will not beat me!

Sarah Carroll, 4:32

I was a first-timer in the 2005 London Marathon. My object was to complete the marathon before I am 40 (6 days to spare), run without stopping (yes) and beat five hours (I did 4:32).

I loved every minute of the day and the run and feel guilty that I didn't really suffer! I ran with a friend and colleague who struggled manfully with my second-half spurt; we sprinted the last six miles and achieved a negative split. In order to take her mind off our speed and her distress, I started playing my 'bored in a traffic jam games' ie: best bottle of wine ever, worst holiday, best holiday, and worse... Any photos of us along the Embankment will show us laughing.

How vain is this? As my sister was suffering from flu and unable to stand in the pre-arranged spot at the top of the Mall to hand me a hairbrush for the finish photo, I took a comb in my belt and turning the corner in front of the Palace, pulled-out my hair tie and combed my tangled hair into shape.

Nice try but I still look rough in the photo!

I have the marathon bug now and am trying to get a place for New York...

Congratulations to the finishers...

Julie Moseley, 4:41

I finished my first London Marathon in 4:41 - an amazing achievement for me as I only took up running in September last year. I started with a beginner's training programme and was absolutely hooked after running the Reading Half Marathon in 2:02.

London was an amazing experience - I set off trying to keep up with the RW pace group doing 10-minute miles. It was all going to plan until 17 miles, when a sharp pain at the back of my right knee forced me to change my plan. There was no way I was walking or dropping out, so I had to drop back a little in order to keep running.

Nothing can prepare you for that feeling when you turn off the Embankment onto the Mall and see the fininsh and that famous Flora London Marathon clock! I will keep that memory for the rest of my life and crossed the line sobbing!

And I'm definitely going to try again next year!

Sarah Boot, 4:44

It was one of the most amazing things I have ever been privileged to be part of. The noise and support at the Cutty Sark and Tower Bridge was awesome, and I felt like Kelly Holmes in the home straight!

Brilliant - but never again!

Ronnie Millet, 4:28

I was a first-time marathon runner, and finished in 4:28, running as Big Ron.

As we are getting off the very crowded special train at Maze Hill for the red start at Greenwich one runner sees three policemen on duty.

"What on earth are they here for? There's a great atmosphere - nobody is going to cause a riot or commotion on a day like this!" he explodes.

"Well - do you see any trouble or commotion?" I reply.

"No."

"Well, they're doing a good job then, aren't they!"

Clive Nottage, 4:55

The best moment: seeing my wife at six and 18 miles (she had struggled through the crowds on crutches with a broken leg and I really appreciated the effort).

The worst moment: my hamstring tearing at 20 miles.

The biggest surprise: not needing the loo, despite taking water and Lucozade Sport at EVERY station!

The most memorable moment: joining in with the Singing Nun's rendition of "Creep" at the start - surreal...

What I would do differently: not run having torn my hamstring seven weeks earlier.

The key to my success: sheer bloodymindedness, a cortisone injection and lots of Nurofen.

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