My VLM 2010: Mark Turner

Reaching for Lucozade, the person behind me clouted my ankles and sent me flying...

Posted: 28 April 2010
by Mark Turner

I was having a superb race. Everything was going to plan and I was looking to hit a PB, only to find that as I was reaching out for a Lucozade just after Mile 18 the person behind me clouted  my ankles and sent me flying. I landed face down immediately in front of them and split my knee open quite badly.

I'm really really upset that whoever this was didn't have the decency to stop and help me up or even see if I was OK. Luckily the Lucozade guys called for a medic who patched me up - I was able to finish the race and have it properly seen to at the end.

I was running with the 8-minute-mile group and was just starting to speed up at this point for a good final eight miles. I was absolutely gutted, now have stitches and am limping.

This was the worst and most crowded first half I have seen to date - lots of slower people started way too far forward and some walked down the middle of the road rather than the edges.

Losing faith in a great race with great people.

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Discuss this article

Mark - you have my sincere sympathies.  I started at the blue start in pen 4 and was immediately surrounded by people with much higher pen numbers.  It was very crowded and very difficult to get passed people for much of the course and at one stage, around about 18 miles, I had a word with three guys who were walking side-by-side in the middle of the course.

I took to handing drinks to people outside me at the drink stations as the number of people diving across was getting quite hairy.  Though I didn't suffer your fate, a walker suddenly veered across the course at about mile 24 and clattered straight into me, bringing me to a complete stop, right when it hurt so much to keep running.  We had a bit of a cross exchange (I suppose low blood sugar does make for grumpy runners) and I encouraged him to look before he changes direction next time.

Posted: 29/04/2010 at 12:24

I have to agree about crowding and people in the wrong pens which they are normally strict about. I was in pen 5 and as I crossed the start line there was a Large lady walking!!!

The bloke next to me said he felt like charging her and knocking on her face. Although exreme I did agree at the time.

Posted: 29/04/2010 at 13:33

I have to agree, my first VLM (and my last!). When people said "crowded" I thought it would be like Reading or Berlin, not like Xmas Eve shopping!

And having dutifully got into my pen on Blue start, we were all shovelled up and I promptly met my homies who'd been put in 4. IIRC Berlin started people in waves and there was much less crowding (though to be fair the roads are a lot wider too!). Hey ho...

Posted: 29/04/2010 at 23:00 is essentially a charity run for 36,000 people, what do you expect??? If you want serious marathon running, there are so many less high profile races out there - Kent Coastal, Nottingham, etc.,

Notwithstanding the elites, it is an event, not a race and should be approached as such. In all these type of events including the Great Run Series you will get these issues but if you want to run them you must accept it as part and parcel of the event. You are never going to get people to stand in the right zone, move to the left when stopping/walking, being patient at water stations, etc.,

I ran it on Sunday and experienced all the things mentioned but once you accept that is and always will be the nature of the beast as big as this event, life gets so much nicer....

Posted: 29/04/2010 at 23:12

Thats strange 'Carefree', last year and all previous years seemed to have officials at the pens checking the numbers and policing it, which they didn't this year, which would have more than likely solved the simple problem?

 I have freinds who completed it in under 2:50, not elite class obviously, but I doubt whether they would consider it as anything other than a race?

Posted: 04/05/2010 at 15:04

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