If you have been living under a rock this weekend you might have missed the fact that it was the London Marathon on Sunday. I was visiting my daughter in west London and decided that I would like to stay until Sunday and watch the marathon, and also support a Cleobury club member, Joanne Watson, who was running for the NSPCC.
I was up early to be on the 8am tube with my daughter and members of the running club she belongs to. It was surprising to find that the people there, ready to carry the straw bales (yes, really) and everything else needed to set up, almost filled a tube carriage. One even turned up having stopped en route to pick up the pre ordered hot bacon rolls for breakfast. This cheer squad was clearly organised with military efficiency!
It was clear that those organising had done this before, and the cheer post was set up just past mile 23 very quickly. There was a live band also setting up just behind us which was a known feature, and one we would be very glad of later.
Did I mention that snow had been forecast? Well it didn’t snow but it was pretty darn cold, and the wind was bitter. Great for running but spectating was going to be a little uncomfortable. Unless you took preventative action, and tested the straw bales out at the same time.
We watched the mini marathon kids set off (kudos to the kid who lost a shoe but carried on racing!) but had actually been there for hours before there was any real action. The time sped by just chatting about races, dancing to keep warm, and cheering anything that ran. Not many other marshals were so well cheered I’m sure. Once the competitors started going through it was just fantastic fun. You barely noticed the cold.(Yes, I’m lying).
My photos of the leaders turned out better than my Mo Farrah picture from 2014 where I just caught him before he ran out of the left of the frame.
The running was the main feature but you could be forgiven for thinking that we were all just there to party. Believe me when I say that the cheering and encouragement given by the Ealing Eagles is second to none. They are a very loud (in a good way) bunch – and the noise when a competing Eagle went through was incredible.
It was amazing to witness. Mr Eagle should have been given a medal – I don’t think he stood still all day. I did wonder how many feathers were going to be left in his boas by days end as there seemed to be lots on the road!
The cool conditions clearly suited my friend from Cleobury Mortimer running club as she arrived at our point a good five minutes before the first time I was supposed to be looking for her. That might explain the quality of the photograph – she’s in there somewhere. Sorry Joanne!
As time went on the enthusiasm wasn’t diminished at all. The cheering was just as loud, the singing just as
bad loud too, and the dancing got better as drink was involved.
Sadly I had to drive home to Worcestershire and knew I would have to leave before all of the later runners went through. I was particularly sad about that as I so admire anyone who dresses up in inappropriate fancy dress, or is just running for a cause important to them despite not really being ‘a runner’. Believe me guys – if you got round a marathon course you are very definitely a runner, and a massive well done.
A particularly massive well done to Joanne, who looks ridiculously fresh despite having finished in 3:46:58!
There should be credit given to everyone involved in the marathon organisation as it is so slick, but also to the staff at TFL who were almost without exception cheerful and helpful despite dealing with an unbelievable amount of people trying to move around by tube. I salute you all!
If you haven’t been to London for the marathon I can strongly recommend it. The atmosphere is superb, and I’m sure that if you are fortunate enough to get a place to run you must feel like a superstar with all of the support – and so you should.