In short: In short 26 miles of tears, elation, pain, joy, disappointment, pride and unforgettable memories In full: I've done a fair few half marathons and other races but nothing can prepare you for the experience of running in this race. It was a day where so many strong emotions and vivid feelings are concentrated in a period of less than six hours. There were times when it brought tears to my eyes, some were of joy like when I ran across Tower Bridge with the crowds cheering my name but some were of frustration as I hit the wall at 20 miles and my dream of running 3 hrs 40 mins disappeared. There was elation at crossing the line in under 4 hrs (at one stage I wasn't sure I was going to make even that goal) and having run the whole 26.2 miles without stopping. There was the pain that came with hitting the wall at 20 miles and the feeling of helplessness as all power and effort left my legs. There was the joy of interacting with the wonderful crowds and sheer joy of taking part in such a life affirming event. There was the disappointment that came with the realization I had ran the first half too fast, hadn't conserve my energy and blown the time I had hoped for during the long winter months of training. There was the pride that came with taking part in probably the best marathon in the world with the best runners in the world and 30,000 other mortals who had raised a serious amount of money for charity. And finally there are the unforgettable memories of many special moments I experienced throughout the whole day. To anybody considering running in this event, you may experience a lot of different emotions and feelings, but at the end of the day you will have no regrets in taking part. I can't wait to do it all again next year.
In short: Just amazing! for a first timer like me the crowd were out of this world! they deserve the medal for their support! In full: The race was fantastic as a beginner like me I simply wanted to get round and finish! Considering the heavy rain at parts the crowds were faultless, their enthusiasm and encouragement never stopped and they play a big part. The organisation ran like clockwork and was a tribute to whomever organised it. I would love to do it in a couple of years with more training but will give my body a rest as can barely walk today!. Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: Fabulous event around Bath countryside In full: A wonderful route taking you along the various canals (some now disused) around Bath, incorporating wonderful views. A few hills to separate the men from the boys and four different distances to choose from. This is a challenge rather than a race but plenty of runners and they do record your time. And, like all walking events, it's a complete bargain. You get your money's worth in cakes at the checkpoints! Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: Great local feel - friendly and welcoming. In full: Flat course with petroleum refinery in view - don't light a fag pre race. The end was great coming into the stadium to all the cheering. Made me want to sprint finish. Great value - good tee-shirt, energy bar, shoe bag etc. Definitely do it again Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: Thats quite a hill !!! In full: Fantastic race - selection of hills made for tough ascents and thrilling descents (trouble keeping feet on ground!!) well organised (3 water stations and what seemed like hundreds of marshalls) overjoyed with coming in under 50 mins - If I dont get into London 2007 I will certainly be back next year! Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: Really loved the stadium finish, but at the start the pace signs were hard to see and I didn't find the pacemakers. In full: For a city centre race there wasn't as much support as I expected but there was a fair few people on the way and the stadium finish was fantastic. The last few miles were extremely hard as the stadium was in sight but took a long time to arrive! Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: My first marathon and it met all my expectations. Emotional, tough, friendly, well organized, and very fulfilling. Don't bother running any other marathon as a first-timer this has everything and more. In full: Went OK until about 16 miles and then due to an achilles tendon injury carried for a few months I had to change my running action resulting in cramps in my right quadricep, and calf at about 22 miles. Very nice St John ambulance woman gave me a gentle massage which helped, but the crowds did their job lifting me for the last 4 miles to get through the pain. It was pouring with rain but they stayed on to cheer everyone on, and with my name across my singlet running for the NAS there was plenty of support. Hats off to them!
Earlier in the race the Isle of Dogs became very congested through sheer numbers. Dodging runners walking on the narrower roads made it very difficult and this slowed the pace for many runners including myself.
My family were at the Holiday Inn in Limehouse at the 21 mile mark with the other National Autistic Society supporters and it was very emotional to see my wife, and kids with huge smiles. I think they were relieved to see me as well!! That really gave me great heart to continue to the end. I think the extra spurt may have contributed to the cramps a mile later!
A the finish line the helpers were very generous and made you feel great ... "well done mate". A lovely blond lady who reminded me of my mum at 4 yrs old got my blanket out, and tied it on for me ... I felt like hugging her! My legs could barely carry me. It hadn't sunk in properly but I had just finished my first marathon and it was just an awesome experience. Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: Fantastic day out as always but no matter how often you run it, the last 6 miles never get any easier! In full: Great year - wasn't passed by an oversized sausage, chicken or womble. Fastest marathon time for over ten years - it msut be the go-faster grey stripes in my hair. Being small I felt obliged to high 5 all the tiniest kids, so my back is aching more than my legs today. Bring on 2007! Date of review: April 24, 2006
In short: FLM Virgin grateful for unbelievable crowd support In full: First time marathon and I can honestly say one of the proudest days of my life. The unbelievable crowd support lifted me for the last few difficult miles, but to turn the corner with 200M to go, realising you're about to complete one of the biggest challenges there are... As for atmosphere, even in the rain, the crowd support was awesome.
Thanks to all of the unsung heroes for making the day run like clockwork- the marshals, the drinks station staff and most of all the St Johns Ambulance guy who told me the 16 mile marker was just around the corner, after giving me a big dollop of [much needed] vaseline.