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I just don't understand how the roads can re-open (with all of the attendant responsibilities of removing litter, cleaning the road, etc.) but anyone can regard the marathon as not having finished. This "grey area" needs to be addressed, and the race should finish before the roads re-open. Whether that means they try to extend the road closures for another hour or not I don't know, but the current situation means that some participants are always going to be on roads that are either being cleaned or open to the public to vehicles, not ideal for anyone really. I don't know the full circumstances of this pacer, and I wasn't there, but she knew before she started (based on her time), as did the people around her, that this would be the case. Some of her complaints don't make much sense.
Having said that, she was asked to pace at 7.5 hours, and that shouldn't have happened.
Part of the London marathon experience is undoubtedly the amazing crowd support. I notice from the TV highlights that the crowds for the elite runners are much thinner than when I come through. Towards the end, though, it must be obvious that it's only the stragglers that are still to come, and people aren't going to stand there all day, unless they know they have friends or family still to come through. So the stragglers are never going to experience the full atmosphere. There's no excuses for marshalls allegedly being rude to the stragglers, but it must be a frustrating day all round.
However, if you want to make the marathon inclusive and reduce the need for athletic ability to the point where your cut-off is 8 hours, then this is inevitable.
Cheerful Dave said:
Presumably the 8 hours is from the gun, not when the last people cross the start line, hence the '7 hour pace' comment. Having a 7.5 hour pacer doesn't seem very well thought out at all - the vast majority of those right at the back aren't there by choice, they're variously people who vastly underprepared for it, people who got injured during the event, even some who stopped for a two hour break halfway round. And those who do plan to take that long are doing it by a variety of means - some will just walk the whole way, some will be on some sort of run-walk and some will just be taking regular breaks. 'Pacing' them isn't really going to work.
I just waded through that Facebook thread (reckon I deserve a medal for doing so)