It’s the same routine every year for me. The TV goes on as soon as coverage starts of the London Marathon and I’m glued to it all day, until it ends at around 3pm, then I watch the highlights as well at 6pm.
It holds a particular fascination for me, for lots of reasons. Firstly, I have the utmost admiration for anyone who can run 26.2 miles. A 10k is enough for me, so another 20 miles on top of that, in my eyes is mind blowing. Secondly, I love seeing the famous landmarks of our capital. London is a very beautiful city. Thirdly, I think the BBC’s coverage is excellent, not only of the elite runners, but also the people running for charity.
The elite runners, well. Every year I say “I wish I could run like that” whilst sipping a full fat latte and eating too many ginger biscuits. They are amazing, and Mary Keitany smashed it by completing it in 2:18:37.
I’m sure you will all remember the poor runner who was barely yards from the finish line. His legs just went to jelly, and my heart was in my mouth fearing this guy was not going to make it, after all that hard work. Then something completely unexpected happened, and a selfless act of kindness by Matthew Rees of Swansea Harriers meant that getting over the finish line was in fact achievable. I have to say I was moved to tears by Matthew’s generosity. He put aside in a heartbeat, his hope of achieving a PB to help a fellow runner.
This got me thinking that not only are runners an extremely kind lot on the whole, but also that the London Marathon is not just about running 26.2 miles. It is about caring for others, endurance, loyalty, passion, and determination. As everyone crossed the finish line I could see amazing strength in each and every face.
Three or four of my “Twitterbuddies” ran on the day for their chosen charities. I have watched them closely on social media in training throughout the winter months. They have battled bad weather, injury and illness, but soldiered on to run and cross the finish line of one of the most famous marathons of the world.
But to all those who ran, all 40,000 of you, you have my utmost respect. Very well done. Wear your medals with pride.