The crowds and support along the course at London were amazing, the fine weather, perhaps not great for a PB for most people, seemed to increase the number of spectators cheering you along every inch of the course.
Arriving at Blackheath on Sunday morning the sun was blazing in the sky and I was a bit excited and nervous. Winter training hadn’t quite gone to plan so I stayed at the back of my start pen before we got the off signal. The new staggered starts made the start less congested and we soon had only 25 miles left to run. Ok so London is a bit flat and there are not any hills, it is all on tarmac, but it is great for the mixture of people you meet along the course.
At mile 2 I met a guy running with a washing machine on his back, it took me until mile 12 to catch up with the person running as a tree…, I ran alongside Wonder Woman for a while, met 2 people running in a boat, ran with a Bumble Bee although didn’t managed to meet Mr Potato Head. It was a bit hot at times but this seemed to get more people outside shouting encouragement, some great music along different parts of the course which had me singing out loud at times and going over London Bridge the noise is so loud it feels like the crowds are lifting you off your feet. It maybe wasn’t all fun since the sun made me feel a bit sick so I stuffed a gel in my mouth which I hadn’t ever tried before but it seemed to help. The odd bridge/tunnel you go under provides a bit of relief from the heat and a bit of quiet before coming out the other side to the blazing sun and roaring crowds. There did seem to be a sufficient supply of water along the course to me, and great support from the volunteers. You get to see some of the London tourist sights and running across London Bridge is my favourite part of the course – you are just under half way, a few miles later you are soon down to single figures left to run.
The final miles of the course I kept looking out for Big Ben and although the last 800 metres seems tough the crowds pull you along to the finish. I love the hills the best but the crowds and atmosphere in London are quite impressive. Some great runs from lots of Carnethy people including:- Alasdair Macdonald, Kathy Henley, Adam Rudd, Graeme Dunbar, Pamela Whitlie, Rosie Allister, Sandra Chandler, Sally Cross, Paul Faulkner, Patrick Harrington, Ian Jackson, Charlie Johnston and Mr Potato Head (Bob). Hope I didn’t miss anyone.