In short: Horrible but worth it! In full: Agree with reviews mentioning water bottles everywhere and people stopping abruptly/walking all over the place meaning hard to maintain pace - but I think I would have found it hard anyway because of the heat. Physically hard for me personally but as said already, amazing crowds and an amazing experience. Despite while running saying to myself 'never again' am already thinking 'I'm sure I could do better...' Date of review: April 26, 2011
In short: Humbling and surreal first time marathon. In full: I can't believe it's over! All that training, all those long runs and within 4 hours it's all over. Fabulous day, mightily humbling and if you asked me on the day if I'd do it again, I said no way. Now, i'm planning on when i can do it again and beat my time.
My only complaint - yes I might look hot but that hardly gives the water boys the right to spray me in the face with water! Oh, and some food with salt (i.e, crisps) rather than salt sachets in the bags would have been better. Date of review: April 26, 2011
In short: Why don't we get to use the whole road? In full: Ran strongly to 15 miles then fell heavily on speed bump which I didn't see as the half of the road which we were allowed to use was crowded - why can't the whole road be used? - the other half was closed to traffic but coned off. Date of review: April 25, 2011
In short: Organisation is poorer and pooer each year... esp the water stations In full: 2nd time now I have had this race ruied by other runners and the inconsideration of throwing water boter bottles to the ground and not to the side...
Mile markers seemed out as early as 5m..... is now a money making machince for charity and not for runners.... £49 for a Photo..... kiss my ................ WILL NEVER DO THIS RACE AGAIN but will support local marathons which know how to treat people like people not sheep... Date of review: April 25, 2011
In short: Brilliantly organised, fantastic atmosphere....simply the best In full: Organisation second to none, atmosphere the best. Despite the inverted snobbery of some, this is still THE race to run. Date of review: April 25, 2011
In short: Water, water, everywhere. But lots to drink. Plus Lucozade, oranges, jelly babies and incredible support. And vaseline! In full: After two marathons elsewhere following the heat of my first (and only?) London Marathon in 2007, here I was at the start, much calmer this time and thankful that the early morning blue skies had clouded over.
The train journey up to London was way smoother than expected - even the 07:53 out of London Bridge to Blackheath was virtually empty when I was expecting it to be rammed to standing room only. A couple of first time marathoners, Alastair from Scotland (via York) and Janey from Trent Park, North London seemed a lot more relaxed that I remember myself being 4 years ago.
The start area on Blackheath is a pleasant, short stroll up from the station and finding the way to the fast Good For Age Red Start was easy. Getting there 80 minutes ahead of the gun allowed time to relax, have a drink, apple, banana and 4 jaffa cakes as well as a few visits to the loo before the bag drop and a short walk to the adjacent starting zone.
80 seconds after the gun, the mass of runners stopped walking, started running and I was over the start line. Managed to regulate pace to target early on while avoiding trouble from the many traffic islands, narrow stretches and corners and then I was settled.
This time, I even started to enjoy the run. Support was magnificent along the entire route from householders, pubs, parties, bands and crowds many deep in places. And, of course, fellow runners supporting each other with encouragement, drink sharing and conversation to wile away the miles.
Around 9 miles, started running alongside Susanna from Woking, this being her 15th London Marathon with much of her preparation being on the ski slopes! Shortly after, we found her friend Keith from Windle Valley Runners.
Around Rotherhithe, as well as the official drink stations, impromptu supplies of oranges seemed to be everywhere. The other commodity in copious supply was Vaseline with first aiders holding out huge globs on their gloved hands – I wouldn’t have known what to do with it so passed on that too.
The clouds had disappeared and the sun was out and it was getting warm, though slightly less sweltering than 2007.
Just after half way and just before the sharp chicane onto Narrow Street, the leading men tore round the corner on the other side. Emmanuel Mutai already had a handy lead. At that point, Lel and Kebede were vying for second place. Catchable? Maybe – but I decided to let them have their day.
At 12 miles, I’d been on target for 3h 10m but already fading a little and the second half started slower than the first so after a couple of revisions, was looking for sub 3h 20m.
At Westferry, found Laura, another Windle Valley Runner whom I’d met at Bramley in February and she was running well.
This time, I ran through Canary Wharf without stopping and but by the time Poplar arrived, the quads were hurting. Anyway, got and kept my head down and plugged away at what felt like a slow pace but was on a par with most everyone around me. Having my name on my shirt and a very popular name meant that I got a lot of shouts out - even if they were for another nearby David! – and another reason to keep on running.
Water was everywhere – maybe extra drink stations were set up? – so gulped some down every chance I had and poured some over my head to cool down. Also used some of the showers en route but was past or alongside a couple before noticing them.
Final chip time is 03:17:47 which is a new PB for London so very happy with that. First half in 01:35, second half 01:42 so no negative splits.
Overall, another fantastic occasion – amazing organisation and thank you to all the volunteers (I read somewhere that there’s 10,000 of them) without whom the London Marathon could not happen as it does.
And thank you to everyone who has donated to my chosen charity, the DKH Legacy Trust
In full: Always a great race, crowds fantastic as always,atmosphere electric. Penty of water and gels/energy drinks also available. Just wish us runners would be more considerate at times especially if suddenly decidng to stop or shoot across for drinks/toilets. Organisation is more or less flawless. Overheard a few more negative comments regarding the goody bags and T shirt quality but I have always regarded this as a great value for money race, suitcase home is always bulging and this year even more so. I have done Paris and Berlin were the entry is practically double that of london, Thumbs up all the way...... Date of review: April 24, 2011
In short: Crowded, Hot and poor racing etiquette In full: Although always special I felt that this instance did not meet up to my expectations. Unlike last time I ran, 2 years ago, I was constantly fighting the sheer volume of people on the street, in some areas the supporting crowds became a nuisance by encroaching too far into the street. This year it felt like there were many more people walking than previously, and the courtesey of those runner was less than expected. I ended up walking and if I am going to walk will always try and walk at the side of the course. I would also recommend that the organizers make better effort to indicate where the water stops are ahead of the stops. In most cases it looked like people were not aware of them being there and so cut across the running line too fast Date of review: April 24, 2011
In short: Worth the wait!! In full: If I had a top ten list of things I want to do before I go this is now ticked off. First saw it on a black and white tv way back in 1981 aged 10 and decide I have to do that!! Well it was well worth the wait. The first 4 miles were a blur and by mile 9 I decided I had gone out to fast..........Anyhow pure magic and loved every minute of it totally inspiring and a must do marathon. Date of review: April 23, 2011