London Marathon 2003   

London Marathon 2002

On-Line Sponsorship Page  

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.

I carried a camera round the course with me and took a few shots. Hopefully, this will give you an idea of what it is like to take part in this sort of event. If you click on the small images on this page, a larger image will appear.


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 without walking.


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.

Other finishers :

Michel Roux (Famous Chef)  2729th in 3:22:37.

Mikulas Dzurinda (Prime Minister of Slovakia)  4,385th in 3:36:27.

Tim Barnwell (England Rugby Union player)   5,409th in 3:43:45.

Gordon Ramsay (Famous Chef)   6,668th in 3:52:14.

Alistair Campbell (Tony Blair's right-hand-man in Downing Street)  7,061st in 3:54:29

Dermot O'Leary (TV presenter)  9,999th in 4:11:13.

Donal MacIntyre (TV presenter)  14,127th in 4:36:36.

Barry Evans (England Rugby Union player)  15,008th in 4:41:51.

Denis MacShane (Minister for Europe)  19,173rd in 5:12:00.

Mark Hughes (Wales Football Manager - ex Man Utd player)  21,557th in 5:40:23.

Lucy Benjamin (former Eastenders actress)   5:52:41.

Brenda Blethyn (Actress)   6:33:178.

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 donations.

If you would like to sponsor me, you can do it over the internet with a credit card or debit card by clicking here. If you are a UK tax payer, the Hospice can claim a tax refund on your donation. Remember that it is a worthy cause. One day, you might be glad that you made a donation.

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'

St Andrew's Hospice (London Marathon)
The Surgery
Highfield Road
North Thoresby
DN36 5RT


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