The London Marathon is an experience first and a race second. It is reputed to be like no other, not even Boston or New York city. And I could see why. The experience I had during London was something way way different than my big races in the US like Chicago and Disney.
This post is the highlight reel of my London Marathon experience, a much detailed race/performance report will follow. I was hoping to be able to use the footage from my GoPro, but I’m having issues with my USB reading the GoPro so I’m waiting on a microSD card reader to arrive midweek. Crazy people! Crazy runners!!! I just cannot describe how delightfully crazy people were!
- I ran the entire race with a GoPro. It was the BEST thing to get spectators excited. Even though I took this race seriously and ran this without stopping, holding on to the GoPro wasn’t too bad. I used this GoPro Clutch and it was just perfect. I hope the footage is worth something.
- Every single person who I met going to the start and during the race was so so friendly. We talked and laughed like we were long lost friends. And shared running and marathon history.
- I introduced the word “portapotty”(toilet/loo) to some of my new friends who thought it was the greatest sport to chant that while waiting in the QUEUE.
- The lines, oops the Queue for the loo was absolutely crazy at the start. I’ve never seen anything like that! Atleast 200m long!!! Had to run and scramble to get to the start line. No photo of this one, I was too angsty and had to go.
- And then there was this, something completely different from the loo … I’m kicking myself for not checking it out!
- Runners can communicate breaking through any language barrier, as was evident by my “conversation” with a gentleman who only spoke ‘Italiano’ and not a word of English. But we had a great “conversation” and a laugh for some distance together.
- If I thought Disney runners had great costumes, they have nothing on the London runners. Elaborate, wild and HEAVY costumes. Rob the fire breathing dragon was 20kg. Paul the tiger was 30kg (Paul ran a 3:30 marathon a couple of years ago without the tiger).
- Not many signs in the race like US. One made me tear up a bit, especially since I was on a difficult stretch “You’ve trained for this. Make it Count.” Definitely made me continue my sloooooow hobble when I very badly wanted to walk the rest.
- For every runner, there were 15 people cheering (just a number I’m throwing out, not real facts 🙂 ). And for every person cheering, there were 2 pubs on route. I’ve NEVER seen such support for the 6+ Hr runners. Even after the main masses left, roads were still lined with people and the back of the pack never felt forgotten.
- Spectators were lining up outside pubs on the course and offering beer to runners. One group of people would give either a kiss or a smack on the bottom to any runner who took a sip. I don’t know how they made that distinction to kiss or smack and didn’t want to chance it 😉
And the best part …
I got asked out while running. Twice. Once by a course marshal early on. And another by a fellow runner at Mile 23-24. Dan, another runner who was running next to me almost the entire race said that he’d be my bridesmaid if either of these running romances worked out .. Lorelei, a runner from JDRF who I met through Facebook/InkNBurn, said she was proposed to as well. Looks like the London folks took the Marathon Logo literally! Loved it!!
I continue to be amazed and humbled at this opportunity to run the London Marathon and raise $5000+ for Run for Autism. I cannot describe how the race experience was all that I’d dreamed of and way more. Next Up: The Race Performance Report
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