There are a lot of people on here who do the training that would be more than pleased to get under 4:30. Many a finisher on Sunday could have achieved that time had it not been for the many other reasons quoted in this thread. The start was an issue but why penalise people who run week in week out just because they can't do 4:20? Could you run an ultra marathon because some of these suggested non-qualifiers do on a regular basis! Many of those that regularly contribute on this forum couldn't meet that criteria but they were still passing people all the way to the finish line. Being that the 3:30 finishers were being affected quite late in the race the 4:20 finishers could esaily be caught by some of those currently causing problems. It might even make matters worse by encouraging them to try catching the runners in front!
In an event where the majority of places are controlled by charities with the aim of making money, people are going to be affected. I was upset about Sunday probably because I didn't achieve the time I wanted in the way I wanted and as a result wanted someone to blame which is wrong. London is about surviving. Surviving the madness is all part of being able to say I've been there, done that, got the tee-shirt. This year there seemed to be more problems to navigate but lets not forget that for the majority of people the goal was simply getting to the finish line in one piece after pledging lots of money to charity. Most of us know what it's like becase we've been there, done that and have the better tee-shirt yet still we come back. We only have ourselves to blame for getting so upset. It's not going to change and dispite what people say many will apply again, maybe not this year but when it comes around next April and you're not running, you will forget the issue and wish you were.
The only photo I really wanted was the one they didn't get! I thought it was just video crossing the line but having held back to ensure nobody was in front of me crossing the line arms in the air....NOTHING. All the photographers on the gantry seem to have decided the only finishers interesting enough to have their photographs taken was that caterpillar which had it started where it should have would still have been somewhere around Big Ben!
Now I need to do it again just for the finish line picture!
Starting from pen 8 on the blue start I expected to be held up by people running slower but not for 26 miles! For various reasons I didn't have a finish time in mind either. I would have been more than happy to plod along soaking in the atmosphere doing 13 min miles (sorry to anybody that considers that fast). The start was a mess! After waiting in the rain by the bus stop in pen 8 I suddenly found myself surrounded by people who should have been in pen 4 after the first move forward! Either they moved backward or something went badly wrong because we weren't trying to push forward. It still took 10 minutes to pass the couple walking hand-in-hand (how sweet) and another mile to get past the Angel of the North. The Giraffe was miles down the road at this point even though I finished some 50 minutes ahead at the end. All this seems to be part of what London has become and there probably isn't a surefire way of stopping it happening however people walking should move over to the sides. Most know when they're in trouble so moving over before they start vwalking shouldn't be that difficult especially in the slower groups. At least then they reduce the stress on others through the constant change of pace and direction to avoid them. The same applies to using phones! If you really can't complete the marathon without talking to people on the phone, how the hell did you get through the training? At least have the decency to move over to the side. And lastly throw the bottles off the running surface! I really missed the sound of running through the lucazade areas this year. That really distinctive clicking sound as your feet stick to the surface. I really didn't enjoy tiptoeing through the bottles watching others fall painfully because somebody couldn't be bothered to consider their fellow runners. For me the lack of consideration for others this year was disappointing especially considering the considerable mental and phyiscal effort required just to get to the start. Will I be back? Yes. even with all the faults which we know will still be there next year there is something about London that forces the fingers to do things the brain says you shouldn't.
Never seen as many walkers in the middle walking side by side as yesterday! Not pairs but threes and sometime four abreast! That's really not fair to those that have put a lot of effort into preparing. And beofre somebody say's it, I'm assuming everybody put at least a reasonable amount of effort into the training. Some are going to cover the course slower than others.
Missed the wife on several occaisions so not a good day for her but that's London. If you want a good personal time, the ability to run at a constant pace or see your supporters don't do this one. It's a huge party and expecting anything else is going to spoil your day.
Will I be back? Maybe but there are other marathons and having my eyes openned at one of those may well become the deciding factor. Four months is a long time to train for a party even if there is a huge measure of satisfaction crossing the finish line.