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|Big Bloke, 4:29:33|
The best moments: running around Cutty Sark and the last mile, the crowd support unbelievable, as well as the lady with the giant Jelly beans who chased me after I had dropped one to make sure that I got one of them, and the little girl with Downs syndrome who cheered me on when she saw my name on my vest (brought a tear to the eye).
The worst moments: getting cramp at 30K in both the quads and hamstrings in my left leg which got progressively worse until it happened again at 22.5 miles - I seriously considered dropping out because the pain was so bad.
The biggest surprise: finding out that I had worn through my socks (twin skinned) and the plaster I had put on my heel to try and stop any blisters and that I now had red socks where my heel had been bleeding but didn't feel a thing.
If I could do things differently, I would try to do some research into cramps and how to prevent them.
|Andrew Newman, 4:05:21|
On my Things To Do List:
1. Run the London Marathon...COMPLETED!!!
It was a great view to see thousands of strangers at Greenwich Park. Everyone was talking and encouraging one another as if friends due to the one common goal: to run 26.2 miles!!!
I shall never forget the camaraderie between runners, the crowd, the noise, the pain, and the ecstasy that came with crossing the finish line. It's safe to say that I have never endured (nor do I think I will) a more painful 6 miles than those that brought me to Buckingham Palace. But somehow pushing both my mind and body to the limit made the day even more special.
Thank you so much to all who turned out to cheer, clap, and encourage each and every single runner. Not to forget the volunteers, which without, I know I wouldn't have finished.
I feel immensely lucky to have been a part of the 25th anniversary of the London Marathon. It's something that I will always look back on with immense pride.
This was my second FLM, and it was terrific. I would advise everyone to do it at least twice - the second one was just so much better.
After being thoroughly soaked in the atmosphere, the crowds, the landmarks, I will I do a third, or at least I am tempted.
Despite the heat, I knocked 12 minutes off last year and did 4:30. I finished once again in tears, but feeling so good.
|Alison Salmond, 4:28|
I looked at my watch at 4.28 and saw the finish line. The moment I crossed, my mum texted me, "Have you finished!!! Spooky??? I texted back "JUST!"
It was my first marathon and it was a very enjoyable day for the first 13 miles. However, I was still in the toilet queue as the gun went off, and it took us approximately 25-30 minutes to get through the start.
The highlights were singing to Dancing Queen in Blackheath and crossing the Tower Bridge at two hours feeling strong! (After 3 Nurofen Plus, my hips were a dull ache). After being cheered on continually by the crowd and being offered a Guinness at 22 miles, I could never imagine being so happy before I even saw Buckingham Palace and the finish line!!!
The worst bit was being shoved into a one-lane road in the East End. It was hard to maintain a pace and very hard to bear: I couldn't stretch my legs out. I started to feel very stiff and aching in my hips and knees because of this. (I have been fighting off injury during training). The rest of the road was free, so why were we sectioned to one side of a closed road? It did not make sense!
This has put me off doing the London Marathon again. Also, the bottleneck at the finish line was awful. I had a hard time trying to get to the repatriation area, which meant once again being static and feeling sick. I think relatives and friends need to keep away to allow the runners to get through and keep walking so that they can find space to eat, drink and meet up with their family and friends!
My aim was to finish injury free (or at least still walking), then maybe to finish around 4 hours 30. The last six miles took 1 hour 10 minutes! Sadly, I had slowed down substantially!!!
Next time, I'm not sure if I would choose such a busy race. I would like to do around 4 hours next time.
Running the London Marathon was always an “I want to do that one day” event, and now I have done it! It was my first marathon and I’ll be very surprised if it is my last. I know I can easily improve my 4:32 by over 30 minutes.
The best moment was from Big Ben to Birdcage Walk. The support there was overwhelming and I was given a great boost before the finish!
Other than the pain of my bruised big toenail, the worst moment was catching up my mate John whose knee had gone and walking with him for a bit. He looked gutted.
The most memorable moment was seeing my football hero Tony Cottee struggling out of Docklands and, as a fellow runner for the Bobby Moore Fund, giving him a "gee-up."
For future events, I will train properly rather than doing one run a week from Christmas just to fit around my football. However, I was sensible on the day, keeping a steady pace and drinking little and often through the run.
|Steve Wells, 4:33:52|
What a day! I finished in 4.43.52 which was a surprise as I thought I'd do it in 4 hours. I was disappointed at the time, but my achievement is now sinking in. However this was my first marathon, and events conspired against me - honestly!
My wheelchair-bound mother had to go into hospital for an operation last week, and I hurt my back lifting her. After training diligently for 6 months with no injury problems I was devastated, to say the least. However, I know a very good osteopath, and thanks to his efforts - 'I can fix it so you can run, but I won't click the ribs back in yet!' - I managed to drag myself round.
My back problems affected my posture, and I had to run flat-footed. Needless to say this started to give me sore feet and calf muscles. After 18 miles, I seized up with cramp. Luckily, I remembered an article about walk/running so I adopted that strategy to get home, but those eight miles seemed like 26.
The best moments were meeting my wife Philippa and the kids Robby and Katy after 10 miles, which gave me a great boost, following the young lady in a thong for a mile or so (if I did it again I'd follow her all the way round), and knowing that I've raised over £4k for Cancer Research UK in memory of my father.
The worst moment was five yards from the finish when I got cramp in both calf muscles. The commentator saw this, picked my name up from my T shirt, and had a real go at me for stopping! He even reminded me to smile for the cameras! I followed them pretty closely, but couldn't do the speed-work as I had a knee operation last year, which prevents me from turning quickly.
I did say "never again" to my wife, but, thinking about it... what if I was injury-free and the weather was a bit cooler?
A really good feeling was realising I didn't actually need the excuse of stopping at the forum supporters railings. I was still really "up for it," but it was great to see the team and grab some sweets and hugs! Later, it was nice hearing someone call out my forum name from the crowd even though it wasn't written on my shirt--my artwork must've been good!
My worst moment had to be at around 20 miles when fatigue was settling in for real. Someone in the crowd yelled, "pick your feet up, only an hour left to go!" It was not what you want to hear when you're chanting the mantra "nearly there, nearly there" with each pound of the feet. The worst period of the run was when my bum-bag of essentials had split so I tucked it into the back of my Lycra shorts: spent the next five miles feeling parecetemol, blister plasters, jelly babies etc. trickling down my buttocks, trying to escape past the elastic hem of my shorts!
The biggest surprise to me was as I crossed the start line, people were walking straight away. I thought everyone would be so psyched up to run--at least at first!
There are too many memories to list, mostly good, but a few negatives to do with all the walking runners strung out across the track.
And the key to my run? Good hydration and a ton of stubbornness!!
|Ross Gifford-Pike, 4:34|
This was my first time ever. Everything was going fine and I had managed to pass 3 wombles, one camel and a rhino until I got to the 14th mile and both my legs decided to cramp. This lasted the rest of the race. The pain was absolutely awful and was only slightly relieved when I was briefly distracted by being overtaken by the Cheeky Girls.
Possibly the best moment was between 24 and 26 miles when the crowd could see I was struggling and called my name out (it was written on my shirt), saying ' I could do it'. This reduced me to tears to hear these people's support, but it was also what kept me going all the way to the end.
I am so going to do this again! Well done everybody.
I still can't quite believe I've done it. I haven't let the medal out of my sight since Sunday - it's even under my pillow at night! I had the most amazing day, and although I missed my target time of sub-4.30, I couldn't have tried any harder so have no regrets at all. It was my first marathon, but I don't think it will be my last. Any other race I do will have a job to top this one though.
The hardest bit for me was when you could see runners at the 21-mile point, but you were heading in the opposite direction. Docklands seemed a never-ending cauldron of heat and noise. My top tip for marathon success? Wear more sunscreen than you think you'll need, and don't forget the backs of your legs...!
I'd been told a thousand times that the noise from the crowd keeps you going, but I really have never experienced anything quite like it. The cheering along Birdcage Walk and onto the Mall... well, I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about it. Undoubtedly the best (and hardest!) thing I've ever done!
Vying with the crowds for my favourite memory is the marshals lining the route, organising the start, manning the drinks stations and generally just cheering us on. They were absolutely fantastic and are a credit to the running community and the people of London.
I really hope the IOC were watching - what better advert could you get for London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics?
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