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Best moment(s): En route, complete strangers, runners and spectators alike, offering encouragement and calling out my name, which was written on my vest. Not getting any blisters or black toe nails thanks to copious amounts of Vaseline on my feet and talc in my shoes.
Worst moment: Realising near the end that I was going to do a personal worse by a long margin, but knowing that not finishing would be a far worse option.
Most bizarre moment: Around 10 miles - a spectator collides with me as he tries to cross the course. I continue unhurt if a little shaken. But he falls to the ground and gets jeered at by other spectators! Biggest surprise(s): Finding sufficient toilet paper at the start area, though I had brought my own. Only taking a minute to cross the starting line.
Other memorable moment(s): Being warm enough at the start to not need to wear a bin liner. At halfway, a fellow runner points out that one of my shoelaces is undone. Seeing other runners after the finish, hobbling around like I was.
Do differently: Trained a lot harder like previous years. Running only a 10K and two half marathons since Christmas aren't enough.
Key(s) to success: Sheer stamina, don't think fitness had much to do with it this time. Visually keeping in touch with other runners wearing the same 'BHF Heart Runner' top as me.
|Geoff Wood, 4:14:38|
London was great up until 17 miles – I was on for pb till the heat hit home (can we order cooler weather for 2006, please!?) At mile 17 and I cramped completely.
The best moment was the relief given by the expert physio at 20 miles who got me back and running the last six to the finish. He was brutal but brilliant!
There were three worst moments: the cramp that hit at 17 miles; seeing somebody being worked on the chest by the medics at about 15 miles, I think, and the congestion at the exit made worse by all the fencing which had been put up
Overall it was the best support of all four marathons that I’ve done and the best organisation, despite the hiccup after the finish.
What I’d do differently next year is to try to get through the last month with no medical problems, unlike this year when a tight right calf, caused by skipping, stopped me training for the three weeks leading up to the marathon.
One thing I’d definitely keep, although this year it was brought on accidentally by the calf problem, will be a regular MOT by the sports massage therapist who got me to the start line after three weeks solid treatment!
Bring on 2006 (hopefully)!
|Stuart Green, 4:22|
The best moment was running over Tower Bridge still fresh as a daisy! The worst moment was my legs becoming like lead weights at about 17 miles and then having to carry them thru to the Mall.
The biggest surprise was how close the finishing line was after you turned by Buckingham Palace. Excellent! So I kicked it up a gear. The most memorable moment was when I kept thinking "I can't go on any more and I want my mommy" type thing. But then I'd run up behind someone with a picture of a child/parent/brother/sister on their back for various reasons and that made me think "this is what it's all about". (I ran for Asthma UK).
Next time I would make sure I got more longer distances under my belt. Maybe I went off too fast as I found the last 10 miles quite gruelling.
|Matt Balcer, 4:25|
My first ever London Marathon - it definitely will not be the last! I enjoyed every minute of it. (Well almost!) The best moment for me was when you turned the corner and Tower Bridge stood there in front of you, the crowd were amazing and really pushed you further. Around the nine-mile point, my old knee injury started to give me some worrying signs and I started to panic, thinking I may have to travel another 17 miles at walking speed. With this in mind I stopped, stretched a little, gathered my composure and set off again determined to finish the race running.
I did it (with support from the much needed crowds) and finished in 4 hours 25 mins!
The London Marathon was a tough race for me, but it did far from put me off from competing in other marathons, in fact less than 48 hours after finishing, with aching legs I was planning my marathon diary for the coming year!!
Thank you Runner’s World for all your advice in the run up to the race. I have found all information on the site invaluable and encourage everyone to use Runner’s World as part of their marathon training!
|Richard Miles, 4:47|
A personal best for me 4 hrs and 47 mins - yes it was my first and I thought my last, though now in the post race euphoria, maybe, just maybe there will be another!
The best moments were the supporting kids touching hands with the runners.
The worst moments mile 22 and people stopping dead in front of you.
The biggest surprise - the warmth of the crowd.
What would I do differently - put sun cream on. I have a red face and shoulders.
This was my third London Marathon and although the recovery has been the best, the run was not. I suffered in the heat, so despite praying for a dry day, I found myself wishing for rain by 15 miles. Like Paula I suffered stomach cramps and also felt sick. That said as part of the Runner’s World Tsunami Team I have made some extremely good friends. I managed to cheer the RW support gang at mile 17 but couldn't quite work out how to stop running! I was aiming at a sub 4.30 and initially was disappointed not to have hit the target, but the realisation that a lot of us suffered has made me proud to be a part of it all.
Low points...feeling sick, more congestion than usual, smell of burgers cooking!
High points....meeting so many new friends, seeing the girls from my running club helping out on a water station and cheering madly! Sitting on the kerb after finish drinking water and feeling glad to finish.
|Matt Hunt, 4:03|
Running in my first marathon – I ran for Diabetes UK in a military Gordon Highlander's kilt, stopped and played the pipes at the nine-mile mark (Quebec Curve) with 5th Croydon BB Pipes and Drums who I teach pipes. An amazing day.
|Roy Bloxham, 4:06|
Best bits for me:
1. Pinching Sally Gunnell's bum on Tower Bridge.
2. Shaking Colin Jackson’s hand.
3. getting a Lucozade orange fron Jonny Wilkinson.
Great day, great crowds.
|Welsh Alex, 4:08|
I was praying for rain and a cool or cold day. I looked out of my hotel window to see beautiful clear sky. On went the factor 50. Everything was organised from the night before so after two pieces of toast with honey and the theft of two bananas from the hotel's restaurant I was off. A hugely crowded 8:30 train from Charing Cross to Greenwich, 10 minutes walk and there it was, the Red Start.
With 45 minutes to go I stripped down to my race gear. Vaz'd all important points, drunk a litre of red bull and ate said bananas. After quickly spreying my hair orange (for no good reason) and with four gels in my Race Ready shorts pockets I was ready. I was to start in pen 5, but a last minute nip to the toilet left me well back in the field.
The first 14 miles were hot. I was longing for the cool of docklands and concentrating hard on finding space to get past people. With 10K at 53 minutes, halfway at 1:54 I was on course for my 3:45 target. Then the Docklands, even more crowded and people starting to walk all over the place. Repeatedly losing minutes through no fault of my own I decided just to take it easy and enjoy the day.
Mile 17 came and realising I had missed team 6, I jogged back on the pavement asking the bloke with the team 9 sign where to find Rich K et al. After being handed my special concoction of flat red bull laced with more flat red bull I was off, cunningly cutting the detour off my timing. I passed mile 20 at 3:01. A sub-4 was still on but I was too thick and/or confused to work it out and rumbled on steadily, picking up pace slightly from Big Ben on. This year I only sprinted the last 300 yards. I was most sorry about this after as however I do, I do like a strong finish.
My top moment though, must have been having my bottom pinched by a (thankfully) female spectator at about mile 5. Just didn't know I could still do it! Wahey!
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