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 15) Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Slotwin, 4:17

My fifth marathon, second London, first wall... never again? You must be joking! Despite the PW, London is simply THE BEST!

It all started so swimmingly well. It was a beautiful running day (instant tan), and I had a chat with one of the ever-presents (fantastic achievement!) around Mile two, grinned and waved all the way around the Cutty Sark, started to blub on Tower Bridge (then stopped as you can't run, cry AND breathe), and stopped and gave my Dad a big kiss.

I was running slightly off my usual pace, but wasn't bothered. Then it all started to go horribly pear-shaped. At mile 16 I got terrible stomach cramp, at 20 miles I decided a run/walk strategy was better than shuffling (it was), at 23 miles I thought I was having a heart attack (my HRM suggested otherwise) and at the finish another runner told me I didn't look very well (I wasn't).

What have I learned/had confirmed? That however good your preparation (and ironically mine was almost the best it has been), the marathon will punish you if you feel even marginally below par leading up to, or on, race day (the back of my running number said 'slight cold').

Running the London Marathon is a totally overwhelming and humbling experience. The crowd numbers and support are absolutely AWESOME and the whole event gets under your skin. I never tire of playing the video; I smile, I choke back tears, my skin tingles. In fact my very unwelcome surprise has made me appreciate the suffering, determination and efforts of others more than I did before. More than anything though, I feel immensely fortunate to have been part of such a positive, unified human achievement.

I promised my husband that this would be my last marathon. I said that after the last one too. After finishing this one I showed him the back of my finisher's T-shirt and he simply rolled his eyes...!

I REALLY enjoyed listening to The Penguin at the Expo, what a treat. Happy running.

SMD, 4:48

The day started with major engineering works on South West Trains (how British?) No one spoke to each other on the train (British again?) until a chap sitting behind me got a call on his mobile and told the entire carriage 'that his pee was dark brown this morning, but all the magazines said it should be straw coloured' That kind of broke the ice as everyone else sniggered and slowly started talking to each other.

Crowds of runners at Waterloo East all seemed to find it funny that the poor staff were desperately trying to check that everyone had either race numbers or tickets. I already had a silly grin on my face by then and was enjoying the day.

I arrived at the start and was really impressed with the organisation - I was expecting much more mayhem although the 20-minute queue for the loo had me bursting. The gun went, and we were off! We were actually running before we crossed the start line (not a good idea).

I couldn't believe the fact that there were crowds along the route right from the first mile cheering and supporting. I remember still grinning helplessly all the way to around about Tower Bridge where my expression turned a little more zombie-like. I had my name on my shirt and couldn't believe how many people called out my name and cheered me on personally. And the best part - still in zombie mode I walked back to Waterloo with my finisher medal around my neck and several people offered their congratulations. My husband had to thank them on my behalf but I was really touched by how nice people were.

What the Marathon did for London and all the people there (of all nationalities) has to be the best of Britain. I've never seen so many happy people interacting with one another and I am really proud to have been a part of it.

This was my first marathon and the things I would advise first-timers are: write your name on your shirt - the supporters like it and they really help keep you going; Vaseline really works wonders; only partially unscrew the lids on the Lucozade - it stops spillages and slows the flow, making it easier to drink; don't listen to the weather forecast - prepare for sun, rain, cold - the whole lot; know what is important to you - your finish time or being able to remember the race; try to be nice to someone else and make their day; IT HURTS!

I can't wait for next year - I'll definitely be there, hopefully running, but if not as a supporter or volunteer.

Katypie, 4:28

I am still high as a kite from the race, an amazing day and a carnival feel to it.

The best moment: for me, it had to be Tower Bridge, my British Stiff Upper Lip went and started trembling slightly. The cheering was so loud I could feel it. It was an amazing feeling to run over the bridge to that welcome.

The worst moment: when my knee started niggling and I thought it was game over until I had a serious talk to myself and it stopped again :)

The biggest surprise: the support. Most people think of London as unfriendly, and it was a big surprise to me although I had been warned. People's kindness never ceases to amaze.

The most memorable moment was the chap dressed as Emily Howard - it must be hard to run when you are laughing that hard. Well done, mate!

I ran quite conservatively because I have always hit the wall in the past, so once I knew I was going to be okay at 22 miles I started to speed up. Every time my foot hit the ground I was cheered; the support was unbelievable. I have never heard so many people shout my name. It really spurred me on, and frankly my ego quite liked it.

I celebrated with champers, and am now in training for Edinburgh in June.

Thanks to RW support team 4 at mile 17, especially the chap in the blue shirt. What will I do if I don't get in next year?

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