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  • Sunday was my first marathon and I must say I really enjoyed it.

    Having said that, the race didn't start very well for me as I was tripped in the first few hundred yards.  I was a bit shaken, but unhurt and soon got into my race and on pace.  I have trained to run around 4 hours and so I settled into a group of runners who were all aiming for about the same finishing time.  

    I have to say the crowds were great.  Even in the opening mile they were clapping and cheering.  The music from the pubs and the bands on the route was deafening, but it made sure you ran with your head up and a smile on your face.  

    A real highlight for me was crossing Tower Bridge and then turning to run down the Highway.  The noise from the crowd was amazing!  It literally made my hair stand on end and I ran the next two miles constantly waving and thanking people.  I was running to raise money for Helen and Douglas House so it was great to reach their supporters, and to see my family and some friendly faces - it also meant that I was past half-way and loving it.  

    Unfortunately I struggled with the heat as we reached the afternoon and by mile 17 I'd fallen below 4 hour pace.  Then as we hit the turn at Docklands I started to struggle with a really sore calf and so I took the decision that finishing at all was more important than finishing in a particular time.  I knew that I would pass Helen & Douglas House and my family again at 22 miles and that kept me going, as did the crowds in the last four miles.  Only a runner can know how it feels to be cheered on by that crowd.  Everyone who called out "come one Alistair" or "you can do it, Alistair" helped me to reach the end of the race.  

    The finish itself is a bit of anti-climax.  It is strangely quiet on Birdcage walk, but you are left with elation and exhaustion as you cross the finishing line - you've done it, you are a marathon runner.  The first thing you get is your medal and I am still wearing mine with pride.  Then you stagger on to receive your goodie bag, and more importantly some water and an isotonic drink.  After that it's a bit of a blur.  The queue of lorries to collect your kit bag seems to go on forever, and it feels like miles before you get to Horse Guard Parade, but at least here you can stretch off, eat something and look for friends and family.

    Best memory: crossing Tower Bridge and the mile that followed it!

    Worst bit: soldiering on for four miles with a very sore calf

    Most surprising: just how amazing the crowd was - and how hot it was in Docklands, I wasn't prepared for that.

    I was aiming for sub four four and on track (I had run with Jules since mile 1) but I fell back badly after 19 miles.  In the end I was just grateful to finish in 4 hours 21 minutes.

  •  1st Prize - Most useless item -The prunes (cunningly disguised as condoms) . Runners constipation is a well known problem, identified and written about it many articles in runners magazines.!!!! - i dont think!!!

    2nd prize-  Strangest item -Shake and vac for chicken-what can i say

    The T shirt is completely useless. A friend for the equally useless one  from last year. I am keeping them in case I need a new tent in years to come.

    Best moment -friends and family and all the supporters,spectators and seeing the finish line- 

    Worst moment -the realisation that once again the gels and lucozade sport I had ingested ware  refusing to go anywhere and that it would remain ,sitting like a brick in my stomach for the next eight miles threatening a vertical take off!


    I loved it!



  • Best moment - the sprinklers! everytime a win!

    Worst moment - seeing a girl falling on a bottle that was thrown under her feet

    Surprise - how difficult it was to meet up with anyone after. felt like a long way to walk to the meet and greet and then couldnt find anyone there. was quite a low after the high of finishing.

    Memorable moment - seeing my bf at mile 22, briefly falling onto him and getting an awwwww from the crowd around. 

    Goal - between 4 and 4:30, did 4:28 so am ok with my time but room for improvement! next time!

    Celebration - sugary cider with friends and family, then chinese back home with the boy


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I overtook the Mankini man at about mile 23. He didn't seem to be suffering from any bad chafing. Although not sure what time he finished as I just sneaked a sub 3 do he might have just missed out.

    I did get annoyed at a few runners who had slowed almost to a walk but were still in the middle of the road on the blue line. These were experienced club runners who should have known better.

    Best bit was the support. Especially along the embankment it really helped me to dig in when my legs were telling me to stop.
  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    Anyone else see the guy in the nappy? That had to be the ultimate chafing outfit - even babies get nappy rash and they don't run!

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Didn't see him but a bloke in a full business suit went flying past me in the final mile. He must have been boiling hot. I was suffering in shorts and t shirt.
  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    Think I saw him too: Joe's world record attempt? I was also passed by a leprechaun in a massive padded suit early in the race who was doing about 3 hour pace.

  • Best moment - feeling great for the first half and reaching the half way point under 1 hour 50 min.

    Worst moment - realising that I'd started too fast and was bitterly paying for it between miles 21 to 24.

    Most surprised - the number of supporters throughout the whole course. The crowds were fantastic and so uplifting even in the darkest miles of the course.

    Most memorable - arriving at Anthony Nolan post reception where the whole room sang Happy Birthday to me on my arrival.

    Goal - was aiming for 3:40 but paid the price for running too fast in the early miles. Finished with 3 hours 48 min so not too bad for my first marathon and running with a recent diagnosis of cancer!!! Will adopt a better strategy next time to achieve goal.

    Celebration - well it was my 50th birthday so what more can I say. Two bottles of champagne at Anthony Nolan reception, followed by huge party with friends and relatives in Teddington. My head aches as much as my legs !!!!!!!!!

  • Best moment: running sub 4hr for the first time and shaking the hand of Richard Branson at the finish!

    Worst moment: nearly went apex over base when someone was so desperate to get to a drinks station they cut across everyone as if they were on lone training run

    Most memorable: has to be the crowd- fantastic support

    T-shirt- yuk, who chose that colour

    Goal - sub 4 hrs

    Highlight: catching up on my stats and realising that over the last 7k I passed 1313 runners and was only overtaken by 17 - be interested to know if anyone can beat this!
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    Bob Depledge wrote (see)
    Highlight: catching up on my stats and realising that over the last 7k I passed 1313 runners and was only overtaken by 17 - be interested to know if anyone can beat this!

    Well 17 other runners did!

  • Your best moment (apart from the finish) - Probably going through 20M and realising I was still ahead of schedule

    Your worst moment - The last two miles, my quads had given up and my feet were burning

    What surprised you most about the day - The sheer number of people involved, from marshals to spectators to the tube companies.

    Your most memorable moment - Finishing!

    What your goal was, and how your finishing time compared. My goal was an optimistic 2:50, I surprised myself with 2:46.

    And of course, how you celebrated! Ate the food in the goody bag, had a shower, got more food and rushed back to university!

  • This was my first marathon and I loved it - a really life affirming experience.

    My favourite moment was almost a dark moment. I was fading badly on the Highway around mile 22 and slowed to a walk. A spectator perched on a wall spotted me and called out to me and urged me to keep going. I picked up my legs and got running again to a big cheer from him and his mates - I cannot tell you how much that moment meant at the time.

    Worst moments were the Isle of Dogs , it felt never ending but the boost of seeing family at Canary Wharf kept me going. The crowd was astonishing.

    I'd aimed for an ambitious 4 hours and actually clocked up 4:17:45. I started in pen 8 and found the mass of runners didn't clear sufficiently for me to have a go at that pace. Despite that, my splits were consistent and I felt good in the unknown territory as I passed mile 20.

    I cannot wait to do it again!
  • By far my favourite marathon, weather helped, but so much support. Managed to lead for a bit of the race www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCqSXbayHh0 

  • WaboWabo ✭✭✭

    My best moment of VLM 2013 (apart from the finish) without a doubt was seeing my daughter at Mile 18 with my granddaughter and best friend who I was raising money for – my daughter having travelled home from Peru where her baby was born.  I cannot top that moment and it gave me the push I needed, my daughter has been a top supporter of me and said after that in all my 10 marathons she has never seen me so in the zone!


    My worst moment was at 22 miles when I felt my left leg cramping and suddenly had the slight panic set in of 'oh no, I am not going to achieve what I have trained so hard for'


    My biggest surprise was a personal one; that I could get below the time I wanted for GFA, having never quite achieved the times I aimed for in the past and therefore not being in the company of quite so many fancy dress runners as in past years!


    Well the most memorable moment without a shadow of a doubt was hitting the 800 metres to go and knowing that unless I hit some almighty big wall, sub 4.15 and GFA was mine!!


    SO my goal was sub 4.15, job done in 4.11.49 and a pb of 7 mins! To say I am over the moon....


    Celebration was tame, I had stuffed crust pizza at home with my daughter and granddaughter and a couple of pints of guinness – amazing recovery fuel!! Just chilled with them at home and felt the amazing after glow of actually reaching my goal.

    possunt quia posse videntur - we can because we know we can 
  • WaboWabo ✭✭✭

    camberwell nice one!! love your worst and best moment

    possunt quia posse videntur - we can because we know we can 
  • Best moment : Turning the corner and seeing Tower Bridge in front of me. I had the biggest grin plastered over my face. As I ran across it was as if someone turned up the volume on the cheering, it was so intense. Then seeing my family at halfway, that was really special.

    Worst moment : Realising at mile 7 I had developed a blister on one toe, despite the blister plaster on it, and the anti-blister socks.  Then it burst at mile 21 - lovely. It still couldn't spoil the day.

    Next best moment : walking into the Leukaemia Research post race reception and having everyone in the room clapping me.

    Last best moment : finding out I had beaten Kelly Sotherton & Iwan Thomas.

  • Best moments: The constant din from the crowd, particularly at Cutty Sark, Canary Wharf and Tower Bridge, amazing support. The hose at 20 miles. Some guy chucking me a banana just before the tunnel of death. The registration chap at the Expo realising I had been put in the wrong starting pen and put a "3" sticker over it.

    Worst moments: Said sticker falling off and having to start at Pen 9 which removed all hope of a 3:30 run. Dropping all my Shot Blocs through an unknown hole in my shorts pocket.

    Biggest Surprise: The volume of people supporting, and how stunning London is on a nice day (I've never properly visited London before!)

    Most Memorable: The scenes at Tower Bridge, running over was a buzz I'll remember for the rest of my life.

  • Best moment was probably going over Tower Bridge - incredible atmosphere

    Worst moment - Getting to mile 20, & my legs telling me they could no longer function properly

    I was very suprised at how crowded the marathon was, and the amount of slower runners in front of me blocking my way

    Most memorable was staying on track at mile 19 and seeing my friends cheers me on

    I aimed for sub 4, got 4.21

    Celebrated with a a couple of pints with my mates


  • @Wabo - cheers! Well done on hitting the GFA time, fantastic achievement
  • 15West15West ✭✭✭
    • Your best moment (apart from the finish) 

    Probably Greenwich/Deptford when I was feeling good and the crowds were from all different creeds/colours/classes and were all very friendly. Then I started getting tired.

    • Your worst moment

    Needing a wee so early on despite trying my best to make sure my bladder was totally empty before starting.

    • What surprised you most about the day

    The amount of support - I thought they'd be more quiet patches, especially after Boston. Is it normally that busy?

    • Your most memorable moment

    Seeing friends cheering me on as coming out of Blackfriars underpass - was not expecting it and helped a lot.

    • What your goal was, and how your finishing time compared

    Sub 2.55, got 2.50.21

    • And of course, how you celebrated!

    Went to McDonalds on my own....


  • WaboWabo ✭✭✭

    shanko I got hosed at 20 miles, my hair was soaked and stuck to my head and when I saw my daughter at the finish she somehow thought my hair looked good!  What bad luck with the sticker and gels! Did you take th egels they handed out?  WHat time did you get inthe end?

    possunt quia posse videntur - we can because we know we can 
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    I ran Antwerp on Sunday -do you want my race report as well? image

    • Your best moment (apart from the finish) 

    Seeing my wife and kids at about mile 12 - nice boost. The crowds at Tower Bridge, the 50 or so supporters from my club at about halfway. 

    • Your worst moment

    Between miles 20 and 24 I can safely say I've never been in such pain from running - I couldn't get my legs moving and slowed to a desultory run/walk from there on. I was so delirious that I missed my wife and kids, their cousins and other family members at 23 miles. They said I walked past within a few feet but didn't flicker when they shouted. I think I was feverish by then. I did manage to jog the final two miles, however.

    • What surprised you most about the day

    How badly I faded, to be honest. I'd had injury problems in the run-up, including back spasms after my last long run three weeks before and a dodgy knee in my last run on the Monday before, but the tightening up of my hamstrings after about 17 miles was about 11 on the pain scale. I think it shows how even a minor disruption can badly affect you. Or that I'm just not made to run marathons. It's definitely my last, of three.

    • Your most memorable moment

    Just the crowds in general up to about 17 miles. After that, I have to admit the crowd became more of an irritant to me, though I know they all meant well.

    • What your goal was, and how your finishing time compared

    Sub 3hrs40. Got 4hrs06.40. 

    • And of course, how you celebrated!

    Wasn't really celebrating missing out by so much, but had a few beers with the club. That was bittersweet because so many people had done fantastic times.

  • alkialki ✭✭✭
    Bob Depledge wrote (see)
    Highlight: catching up on my stats and realising that over the last 7k I passed 1313 runners and was only overtaken by 17 - be interested to know if anyone can beat this!

    Yep - Mr Alki passed 1749 runners and was overtaken by 4. 

  • Wabo I grabbed the Lucozade Gels they were handing out but as I don't train with Lucozade I found the gels too sweet and they didn't agree with me. It didn't matter too much, defeating the wall by keeping going was satisfying.

    I finished in 3:46:51 which I am very happy with. When I ended up in Pen 9 I decided to forget chasing a time and to enjoy the event. And I did image

  • It was an absolutely amazing day, I was running (if you can call it that!) for Samaritans, so wanted to make people smile and was going to play "Bring Me Sunshine" every 5kms, but instead I played when anyone asked - although perhaps they regretted it!!  Also enjoyed dancing with the bands at every pub (didn't stop for a drink, honestly!). Perhaps I should have concentrated on running then it wouldn't have taken 7 hours, 9 minutes & 20 seconds?!! Everyone was so fantastic, the crowds, the children giving jelly babies, all the other runners and supporters and especially Doris, a fellow team member, we stayed pretty much together until she sped off towards the end!

  • Best- got to be the crowds and crowds of spectators, and running over Tower Bridge still feeling strong and in control-well it was early on......

    Worst- full on sun, it was sooo hot

    Surprise- how congested it was for most of the race

    Memorable- seeing family cheer me on, really needed it, such a boost

    Goal- aspirational was 4.20, realistic was 4.30 - did it in 4:33:33 which I'm thrilled with.
  • Your best moment (apart from the finish)
    - 1) seeing my Mum after 17 miles 2) entering the last 6 miles feeling the best I ever had after that distance 3) nerve jangling in the starting pen and the 30 second silence
    Your worst moment
    - a lot of Isle of Dogs, roads too narrow and crowded between miles 15-17
    What surprised you most about the day
    - support in the early part of the course especially outside a lot of the pubs - fabulous
    Your most memorable moment
    - the drummers under the flyover somewhere in the first half - deafening bassy racket
    What your goal was, and how your finishing time compared
    - 3:30 goal, got in at 3:28:01, totally delighted
    And of course, how you celebrated!
    - bucket of ice cream at home with Mrs and dog watching the re-run of Alistair Brownlee smashing it in San Diego earlier


    Another newbie here & my first marathon was London! Talk about throwing myself in at the deep end.image The Best moment? The whole weekend....from Saturay registration, to Blackheath on Sunday, to the finish....I didnt want to set myself a time to be honest, just enjoy every second I could. Still, aimed for 5 hours & achived 5 hr 11, which included last 5 miles pretty much power walking....more of that in a mo.   The worse? Around 19 miles getting a shocking pain slap bang in the middle of shoulder blades. Legs,feet,all fine....middle of back/shoulders? Felt like Id been shot! 14 min miles to the end though...(lankiness does come in handy!)   Suprised? For the newbie....the noise! People giving me such encouragement when they could see a bit of struggle, and the fellow runners around me too egging me on. God, what a unity!   Memorable moment? See family & fellow blackpears at 15/21 miles who have been a tower of strength with support since I started running last October, and crossing the line....blowing a kiss towards the heavens above for my mentor/trainer/friend who sadly passed away last month   Celebrated? Of course....Champagne & a beef roll on the 1700 from Marylebone!
  • Peter Collins wrote (see)

    Just the crowds in general up to about 17 miles. After that, I have to admit the crowd became more of an irritant to me, though I know they all meant well.

     .... Glad I'm not the only person who thought that - felt pretty guilty about it! Embankment I was desperate for some peace and quiet ... image

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