In short: the best sporting experience of my life In full: my first full marathon (im 43 and only started running a year ago) hoped to do 4.30 but managed 4.13 so im well pleased, i ran all the way with no pain at all whatsoever and felt so good,my thanks goes to the runners world website for the training plan (which apart from a couple of weeks of injury i followed exactly as instructed)yes my wife put up with my misery of those cold frosty sunday afternoons tackling the hills of stoke-on-trent, the nutrition plan including forcing a big bowl of porridge down on race day morning, and of course the supporters, i recommend to anyone to put their name on their t-shirt as the enthusiasm of the crowd shouting my name brought tears to my eyes, the bands along route were amazing, and what a knees up outside each pub (the eastenders partying at 10.30am -respect),also people offering sweets along route, and my dad and two of my kids videoing me with 500 metres to go, thankyou london i WILL be back. Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: Great atmosphere, made up for the pain in the legs In full: My first marathon and much slower than my hoped for time. However, great crowds and landmarks definitely make up for it. Not sure I'd do it again, perhaps I'll try another big European city. Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: Tougher then it looks! In full: The course was a lot more difficult then first appeared when looking at it on the OS Map. Some steep uphills but the scenery made up for it. The marshalls as usual were excellent and very encouraging.
Another excellent race in the Lakeland Trails series. Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: Great and the best one for a few years. In full: Fantastic day, fantastic race. I was desperate to break 4 hrs & my projections had me to just sneak inside. In the end I ran 4.08 but had no chnace of 4 hrs.
Crowd are always great but were better than ever, I never seemed to go a yard without spectators. Water stops seemed more frequent than ever which was handy. Weather was ideal and the Blackheath start (2004 & 2006) is a million miles better than the Greenwich Park one. Volunteers & crowd made it one of the most special days of my life.
Criticisms & suggested improvements (some minor). I was after 9 min miles - the first mile took me 14 mins, the 2nd 11 mins. The rest were all 9 minutes. Like 2006 you spend more time walking the first mile than running. I don't know why some roads have both sides available to run and other do not. The first two miles could have doubled up. (I have asked a question about this in a thread)
I also passed Jade Goody (struggling after less than 2 miles) which made me wonder how she started at the front. Narrow Street (15 miles ish) always seems to 'narrow' to cope with the size of this event, but all in all the goods massively outweighed the bad.
The big criticism (which didn't effect the runners as such) were 1) Along large parts of the Embankment (Temple Station) there was an entire two lane road between the spectators and the runners (where any other year they are on the verge in the middle). I cannot think of any reason to suddenly deny spectators on one side of the road the chance to pass items or talk to their family members running. 2) the BBC coverage which gets more absurd each year, barely a mention of a fun runner in the first two hours. If Paula, John Brown or a stack of Britons were among the leaders then fair enough, but do the public prefer 2 & 1/4 hours of a group of largely unknown Africans or the fun runners? I think we know the answer. At least divide the coverage 50/50.
I'm back next year & every year though! Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: Organisation to perfection! In full: First marathon, and definitely my last! However, I would not have missed the experience for all the world. It is true that the crowds do support you - the like I have never seen before in any half marathon. Simply the best! Any one serious enough about running should try the London Marathon, just once, rather than miss an experience of a lifetime. Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: Some hard ascents mixed with fast,rocky descents. Loved it! In full: Makes me wonder why I bother with road races. The mixture of the scenery, the organisation, the great camaraderie and the route make for one of the best races going.
Yes, there are some hard ascents and some fast rocky descents. But it's that challenge that makes trail running such fun. If you want flat, level, good surfaces stick to the roads ... and leave more spaces on the trail races for me :) Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: Wow In full: My first, probably not my last and more than anything I could have expected. Har originaly hoped to go under 4 hours but the pain at 21 miles gave me 4h22 but do I care..no! Simply fantastic, I nearly cried after crossing the finsihing line. Thanks to all the support..London you simply are the best! Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: A life time experience and to do again and again.... In full: I really did not have any idea ... everything is so well (no..perfectly) organised but despite that, being one of 30,000+, with I don't know how many people in the crowd and all the organisation of the event supporting you it is ultimately just about you, your training and how you cope mentally with this distance. But if ever there was everything set up for you so perfectly then this is it - Thank You! Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: What a day! In full: You couldnt put in to words how good this race is. I loved it all, There was pain and lots of it but not for one second did I think I dont like this. If I could have I would have shaken everybody who helped in any way with this race by the hand it is that good. The support of the crowds is incredable, the noise they make if you start to slow down or start to walk is remarkable. If your thinking of doing it get the training in and some more but most of all enjoy a fantastic day. Date of review: April 24, 2006