The Virgin London Marathon is the major marathon featuring in this blog but I also experienced tennis and swimming marathons.
Having clocked up a few hundred miles with Karen in preparation for her running London Marathon after meeting at the Calne Smartt marathon buddy meeting I was with her all the way to the start (whether she liked it or not !).
Expo was our first trip up to London. I really really enjoyed it this year. Last year I was a bag of nerves, probably not helped as I went up alone and flitted around like a rabbit caught in headlights. We listened to the presenters, had my tweet to Iwan Thomas readout by him on stage, scoffed the pasta meal, sampled everything on offer from cherry juice to coconut juice. Managed to purchase a few replacement items – socks, SPI Belt, and got a bag full of random samples. The most useful being a new swim cap – yes in a marathon bag ?
I was recognised by the editor of Womens Running magazine on their stand, asked if doing marathon this year, said no saving my teeth and shoes for other events. After picking up loads of literature and talking to various marathons organisers around the world my marathon interest was awakening once more. I really couldn’t have done 2012 but think my body has forgotten the training, tiredness and toothache. Whilst I got to a couple of 16 miles runs with Karen I wasn’t doing the mid week miles necessary to run the full distance.
First marathon done, walking around expo for 5 hours. Got Calne Smartt name on a an Adidas block in shop for all runners to see, still there on Saturday and other Smartt runners added comments.
Due to work, social, family & friends events I had a fortnight with no long runs. Ran 3 and 2 miles with Claire and Emma respectively but they were Run/walk. My half ironman with its half marathon run distance training is suffering. My confidence in my lack of training got me searching the cut off times on course for Cotswold113, its 7:30 😦
So I will just have to start and go for it. As long as I am on the run course when time is called I will be allowed to finish and get an official time and most important a medal. Only 8 weeks to go and I’m losing 3 weeks whilst in America on our marathon road trip.
Managed a 2000m swim – race distance simulation (mini swim marathon) and completed in 38 minutes so I know I can do the swim leg OK. Due to the persistent rain I have not managed a ride longer than 45 miles, 11 miles short of race distance. Then the lack of running 😦 just got to get out and do it.
6:15am alarm on morning of the marathon, probably earlier than some of the actual runners. Drove into London and parked under the shadow of Big Ben at 9am. Watched Debs niece compete in the mini marathon (5k) in around 17 minutes – oh I dream of young fast legs attached to my old slow body.
We took up our position on birdcage walk, 700m from the finish and the spectator marathon began as we were locked in there until 4pm. At least the rain held off of those 7 hours.
Great spot as we saw the wheelchairs, women’s & mens elite pass us then waited on the masses. Amy, Kev, Emma, Jason, Richard, Jo, Paul, Karen, Gemma, Vicky, Nicky. Most saw us, but a few oblivious at that stage ! All enjoyed the run, experience and the day and should be proud of their medals and efforts.
The saddest low marathon point was the runner Claire Squires collapsed and died right in front of us. A 30 year old fit, lean lady running for the Samaritans. The paramedics and doctors did everything they could and quickly. She wouldn’t have suffering any pain. If you can spare a fiver, her Just giving website has exploded with donations, whilst typing this it has reached three quarters of a million, all in the memory of the first lady to die in a London marathon.
I saw the site of another marathon – the longest tennis match in history between and American & Frenchman on court 18 at Wimbledon. A great tour of Wimbledon with my mum which includes outer courts, going into seats of court 1 and centre court, press area, Henman Hill, changing areas and the museum which is really well done, especially the ghost of John McEnroe.