In short: Loved every minute (except miles 8 to 18) In full: Still buzzing from Sunday, had a brilliant day. Fantastic supportive crowds, incredibly kind marshalls and great organisation generally. Ran with shingles (which i didn't know at the time) so didn't have the race I was expecting but the brilliant atmosphere had me grinning like a cheshire cat for the back 8 miles. The memory of Sunday will stay with me for a long time :-) Date of review: April 24, 2012
In short: Superb In full: Having applied (and failed) for years, I finally got a shot at the London this year - and it did not disappoint! An electric atmosphere from mile 1 to mile 26, some excellent sights and a superb sunny day made 22/4/12 a memorable marathon. Alas, there was no PB for me due to knee trouble, but the encouragement from the crowds dragged me round. Absolutely wonderful! Date of review: April 24, 2012
In short: brilliant enjoyed the whole day so much. In full: what a great marathon. 1st time i have done this. i was poorly from mile 8 my time was rubbish to say the least but the crowds the encouragement the people the organisation was fantastic a real credit to london, it far exceeded my expectations and i know there are other marathons but if your going to do one this is the one i would do. Date of review: April 24, 2012
In short: Magic! In full: The spectators made it for me...a magnificent event in all respects. God bless the man handing out jaffa cakes somewhere around mile 18! An unforgettable day, I loved every minute of it, despite being a marathon "Virgin"! Date of review: April 24, 2012
In short: Excellent atmosphere, but crowds frustrating at times In full: What an amazing day, I will remember this (my first marathon) for a long time. The crowds were fantastic, and having your name on your top really lifted your spirits as the crowd cheered you on. My only gripes are people stopping and walking in the middle of the road, especially along the blue line which was very frustrating if you want to run as much as possible. People strolling along chatting was very frustrating. Also the meet and greet area was a joke, utter chaos and just not what you need after a gruelling 26.2 (actually ended up 27!) mile run. Date of review: April 24, 2012
In short: Fantastic atmosphere In full: Well, done that, got the (HUGE) t shirt don't need to do it again. Great day, the crowds are amazing. Being cheered on with your name being shouted out - great. Was very crowded but expected that. As per lots of comments the meet and great area needs some sorting out - chaos. And the t shirt isn't fit for anyone - other races manage to have different sizes available. Didn't appreciate having to register at Excell either, too commercial and a bit of a farce for runners who couldnt get to London until Saturday. However Sunday was a great day - enjoyed it, glad I did it but probably won't do it again which leaves a space for someone else (hopefully someone who has trained and can run). Date of review: April 24, 2012
In short: Every one should do one. In full: First marathon, put in all the training, but found it fairly difficult to get in a settled rhythm, several bottle necks and rather too many inconsiderate runners who think it is ok just to dart across straight in front of you or stop completely. Later on had to get round loads of people walking three-a-breast. Discarded bottles needed serious concentration too, but hey 37,000 runners aint gonna be easy. My Garmin says i had over 3 minutes of not moving at all, and that i ran 26.7 miles not 26.2! The overall experience was magnificent and my minor gripes above are only because I had hoped to go under 4 hours and the logistics made that difficult. In hindsight you'd be better forgetting PB's and enjoying the atmosphere with a comfortable jaunt. Finish line grin and arm raising was great. Date of review: April 24, 2012
In short: Fab-u-lous atmosphere! In full: This was my 3rd (and last) London Marathon, and my 4th over all, and although I had been pretty laid back throughout my training I thoroughly enjoyed it on the day - narrowly missed a PB but set a new club record.
The content of the goody bag has declined over the years and, yes, the t-shirt is way, way, way too large for most people. Why should the majority of entrants have to put up with an over-sized shirt because just a few people want/need this size?
Another gripe is runner etiquette. Belonging to a club means I participate in quite a few race events during the year and so I know that: a) You don’t suddenly stop in the middle of the course, causing the runners immediately behind you take evasive action or run into you, b) You don’t walk on the racing line (the three blue lines) while chatting to your mates on your mobile, and c) You arrive at your start point in plenty of time to queue for the toilets/urinals so as not to have to resort to exposing yourself to small children just minutes after the race has started.
I was also saddened when my friend repeated a conversation she had overheard between two men, one of whom was boasting to his mate that the furthest he had managed to run was 10 miles. It made a complete mockery of the 17 weeks I had spent training; 5 days a week; 3 x 20 mile runs etc. etc. It really makes my blood boil, because many of my fellow club mates would have loved to have run on Sunday and yet this man, who (it seems) couldn’t be bothered to put the effort into his training, had taken a valuable place from someone who would. I truly believe that the allocation of places needs a complete review i.e. give priority to those who are committed to the training and not to those who think that they can run a marathon after just a few weeks of training.
Okay, rant over.
Once again superb organisation, amazing marshalls (especially those down the road with the speed humps - made me giggle), St John’s were wonderful (what they had to contend with ...) and the crowd ... well, what can I say ... they were fab-u-lous! Date of review: April 24, 2012