I did manage to complete the London Marathon on 13th April. My time was 3:15:13. My position was 2,034 (out of around 30,000).
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who sponsored me for the marathon. The total looks like being towards £3,000. I'm sure the money will be put to good use. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for details.
This was my second
London Marathon having also run last year. The crowds seemed to be bigger
than last year - this was probably due to the 'Paula Radcliffe effect'.
The conditions were
ideal. The weather was fine and there was a following wind for the majority
of the way. I was actually a bit disappointed with my time (slower than
last year), but the whole event is a fabulous experience. There is a carnival
atmosphere along the whole route.
This is the start line, about 30 minutes before start time. People are just starting to line up. There are 3 start lines, blue, green and red. This is the green start which is the smallest of the three. By start time, this area will be packed. Some people will be about 200 yards behind the actual start line when the gun goes off. I was able to start quite close to the front. In fact, it doesn't really matter how long it takes to cross the start line after the gun goes off. Everyone has a computer chip fastened to their shoes which calculates the exact time you take from the start line to the finish line.
The man in the middle of this shot (with the white vest and blue shorts) is the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Mikulas Dzurinda.
This is looking
back from my position at the start at the people lined up behind me. I'm
not sure what the hot air balloons were for.
This is about 1 mile after the start. Taking photographs during a race was a bit tricky. I needed to get away from the other runners so that I didn't get knocked over. Note that the weather was quite pleasant, sunny and about 16C.
This is about 3 miles into the race. The people from the different start lines are just about to merge. On the left are people from the red start, on the right are people from the blue and green starts.
This is the 5 mile
point which is in the Woolwich area. Every mile, there is a 'balloon arch'
over the road and a clock so that you can check your progress. My plan was
to run the early miles in 6min 40sec each. This should get you to the 9
mile point in 1 hour, the 18 mile point in 2 hours and should give you a
chance of getting to the finish in just under 3 hours. The clock is showing
32:30 which means I am a bit ahead of schedule. However, the first few miles
are downhill and we did have a following wind on this section.
This is about at about 6 1/2 miles approaching Cutty Sark in Greenwich.
Looking back as we run around Cutty Sark.
This is the 9 mile point. The clock is showing 58:40, so I am still a bit ahead of schedule. However, we turn back into the wind for the next section, so the next 9 miles will be harder.
This is near the 10 mile point. In the background is Canary Wharf which we will pass later.
This is a Pearly King. Presumably a common sight in the East End of London.
This is the approach to Tower Bridge at about 12 1/2 miles. The crowds were huge along this section.
Looking back after crossing Tower Bridge.
This is approaching the half way point. The clock is showing 1:26:31 which is about the same as my time at this point last year. The people behind the barriers on the left are giving out bottles of water.
This is somewhere in Docklands. There is a military band on the left hand side of the road. There are actually lots of live bands and open air discos around the course.
This is the 18 mile
point. The clock is showing 2:00:24. So, I was just a little behind schedule.
Unfortunately, I was already struggling by this point. I knew that a sub
3 hour time was impossible. All I could hope to do was get to the finish
After doing a loop of Docklands, the course returns along the same road. The people on the right are about 6 miles behind those on the left. It would be quite easy to cheat, but the computer chip on your shoes would be able to detect that you hadn't been all the way round.
The 22 mile point on the left coincides with the 13 mile point on the right. I was slowing down all the time, but at least I was happy not to be on the other side of the road with much further to go.
This is where we run under Tower Bridge. There are still people running over the bridge above us.
This is the Tower of London at about 23 miles. There is a carpet over the cobble stones to make running a bit easier. Unfortunately, I had not just run out of energy by this time, but I had also run out of film. So, there are no photos of the finish. I continued to slow down for the last few miles and finished about 15 minutes slower than last year. Maybe I should put the slower time down to all of the stops I made to take photographs.
(Famous Chef) 2729th in 3:22:37.
(Prime Minister of Slovakia) 4,385th in 3:36:27.
(TV presenter) 9,999th in 4:11:13.
I was raising money for St Andrew's Hospice in Grimsby (registered charity no.1011117).
St Andrew's Hospice
exists to care for patients (both adults and children) living in Lincolnshire
who have a life threatening illness. It also provides support and friendship
to those who care for them. The Hospice is funded mainly by charitable
If you would prefer to send a cheque
(or cash), by post, you can use the address below. Cheques should be made
payable to 'St Andrew's Hospice'