London Marathon 2006   


I completed the London Marathon on 23rd April. My time was 3:52:45. My position was 9,491st (out of around 32,000).

Firstly, I would like to thank all of my sponsors. The sponsorship total was over £25,000 which is quite amazing. Click here for details.

In fact, I nearly didn't run at all. I had been injured and unable to run for the 3 weeks before the race. The injury was little better by race day, but I decided that I could probably still get round if I ran slowly enough. This explains the marked drop in form compared to my previous marathon (2:54:41 in October 2005). It also meant that I would get to see a different part of the race to normal.

This is my 'photo diary' of the event. If you click on the images on this page, a larger image will appear.

The race starts from Blackheath, which is about 10 miles from the centre of London, south of the River Thames. The weather was perfect for long distance running, but not so good for spectating. The temperature was about 12°C with intermittent rain throughout the day.

This is the Blue Start before the runners line up. The Blue Start is the one where the elite athletes start from, so this is the one that you see on TV. Everything seems to have to have a Flora banner stuck to it.

My start is the Green Start. This is also the start which the celebrities use. Unfortunately, due to the weather, most of them hide away in their marquee. An odd one ventures outside. This is Sophie Anderton (in the red).

This is Sally Gunnel, with the people from the 'Run For Glory' TV programme.

Fancy dress is fairly common in the London Marathon. Some outfits are more extreme than others. Here, a man dressed as a darlek makes his final preparations.

This year, the race falls on St Georges Day. This St George is going to pull a massive dragon around the course. This would be hard enough if it was on wheels, but there is a 'no wheeled objects' rule, so the dragon is mounted on a sledge and will have to be dragged along the roads.

People are lining up at the Green Start about 10 minutes before the race starts. I join at the back of this lot. When the gun goes, it takes me about a minute to cross the start line.

After about 1/2 a mile, I pass Jade Goody who is already walking. This is Charlton Park - about 1 1/2 miles from the start.

Nearly 3 miles into the race, we pass Woolwich Barracks.

This is the centre of Charlton, near the 5 mile point.

Passing the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. I often get bemused looks from the other runners when I stop to take photographs.

Running around Cutty Sark in Greenwich.

This is around the 9 mile mark. We are winding around the south bank of the Thames. Canary Wharf is in the background. The weather is still very grey.

I hear lots of shouts from the crowd of 'Come on Elvis'. Sure enough, Elvis is coming up behind me. He looks to have lost some weight preparing for the race.

This is the approach to Tower Bridge. It looks like me and Elvis are taking the long way round, with everyone else on the other side of the road.

Crossing Tower Bridge.

We are around the half way point when the leaders come flashing past on the other side of the road. They are around 9 miles ahead of us.

Each mile is marked with balloons and more Flora banners. This is the 16 mile point.

Still winding around Docklands. It's still raining.

This is about the same point as where the leaders were, when I was on the other side of the road. There are still some people on the other side of the road, about 9 miles behind. It's going to be a long day for them.

Passing the Tower of London. I think the man with the sword is St George looking for a dragon to slay. A brass band plays on the other side of the road.

Running along the Embankment. The London Eye is in the background.

Nearly there. The 25 mile point comes just before we turn right past the Houses of Parliment into Birdcage Walk.

About a mile to go. Everyone is struggling by this point.

Buckingham Palace is just before the finish.

Beyond the finish line. People are collecting their clothes which have been trucked from the start.

A little later in Trafalgar Square.

This is me at various places around the course.

Other runners :

Tony Audenshaw (Actor, Bob Hope in Emmerdale)  1,107th in 2:58:49

James Cracknell (Olympic Rower)  1,234th in 3:00:10

Gordon Ramsay (Chef)  7,879th in 3:46:10

Adrian Chiles (BBC MOTD2 presenter)  11,633rd in 3:59:42

Mark Bright (BBC Commentator)  12,406th in 4:03:06

Andy Jameson (Olympic Swimmer and BBC Commentator)  13,294th in 4:07:10

Sir Matthew Pinsent (Olympic rower)  13,519th in 4:08:03

Mike Christie (Member of G4 - X Factor Runners-up)  14,252nd in 4:11:02

Adam Crozier (ex-FA chief, now Chief Executive of the Post Office)  14,952nd in 4:14:01

Ben Thapa (Member of G4 - X Factor Runners-up)  19,987th in 4:33:33

Tim Campbell (Winner of The Apprentice - series 1)  20,342nd in 4:35:05

Floella Benjamin (Former Play School Presenter)  22,866th in 4:46:10

Rebecca Loos (Former Personal Assistant to David Beckham)  23,097th in 4:47:18

Patricia Potter (Actress - Diane Lloyd in Holby City)  24,472nd in 4:53:54

Luther Blissett (ex-England Footballer)  27,043rd in 5:09:47

Sir Steven Redgrave (Olympic rower)  29,228th in 5:29:06

Zoe Salmon (Blue Peter Presenter)  29,492nd in 5:31:27

Phina Oruche (Actress)  30,789th in 5:49:06

Orlaith McAllister (Big Brother contestant)  30,841st in 5:49:48

Sophie Anderton (Model)  30,841st in 5:49:48

Jade Goody (Big Brother contestant)  DNF

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.

The Hospice Web Site

Some information about St Andrew's Hospice