The cold, grey London sky couldn’t dampen the spirits of the enthusiastic runners and thousands of cheering, screaming, flag waving supporters, lining the 26.2 mile Virgin London Marathon route. On this joyful day, instead of being barged around London’s busy streets by passers by, they make space, smiling. Everyone is your friend.
I went to watch the race and cheer on my boyfriend, running in aid of the charity Children with Cancer. We had a great spot at the halfway point at Tower Bridge and got talking to the group next to us. They cheered on ‘our person’ as he ran past and we cheered on their friend as she ran past. Some runners were already struggling, while others were completely unphased by their task, soaking up the atmosphere. There were runners dressed as apples, smurfs, spider-man, rhinos and even a group in a box, as Andy’s toys from Toy Story. There were emotional hugs between runners and their friends and family. Music, laughter, screaming, blood, sweat and tears were all around us throughout the day. Weaving through the crowd, to the sound of brass bands and pub bands, tension and excitement were thick in the air.
When we arrived at the 23 mile point, a short walk from Tower Bridge, the strain was clear on a lot of the runners faces. A fair few were walking by this point. I saw someone being wheeled off the course on a stretcher and an unconscious runner on the ground, surrounded by worried looking ambulance staff. But standing underneath a bridge, the crowd’s cheering was amplified, bouncing off the the concrete, creating a tunnel of noise. The runners loved it and were waving their hands up and down, egging the crowd on to shout louder, which we did.
I didn’t reach to the finish line in time to see my boyfriend cross, as I was only walking, but he finished in 4 hours 30 minutes. Not bad for a first marathon. Read his review of the race here.
I was able to catch up with Rye-based Marathon runner Amy Kett, from Wobbly Wardrobe on the High Street. Amy has so far raised £1,900 for St. Michael’s Hospice by completing this, her first ever marathon, on Sunday. She says;
“It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was somewhat like childbirth, you know when you hit that wall and think ‘ I cannot get this baby out!’ well, that happened about mile 23 – except there was no cute baby at the finish line. I was doing so good, thought I had it in the bag for 5.30 but reached mile 23 and something went in my groin so I had to walk the last 3.2 miles. Still I made it over the finish line.”
Would she do it all again?
“Errr nope, well I say nope but I said I would never go through childbirth again – and I have two kids!
Who knows eh? Sarah Curd mentioned doing a relay team and swimming the channel so maybe that’s next?”
Well done Amy Kett (6.40), Scott Brotherton (3.50) Sarah Curd, Peter Cross (5.08) and Ted Wilson (4.30) and anyone else from Rye who defeated the monster race that is the London Marathon.
Photo: Amy Kett