Elliott’s Review of his London Marathon 2015
Two weeks after finishing Brighton Marathon, the legs just about feeling normal again, and I’m on the 7:15 train. The day had arrived to take on 26.2(ish) miles again, the 35th Anniversary London Marathon. This would being my second go, the first in 2012 was my first.
The day started well, another marathoner got on the train “I don’t know where I’m going, can I follow you” of course you can. It was his first marathon, he was in the same place I was in 2012 not knowing what was ahead. We chatted and I passed on my limited knowledge, enjoy it, don’t go off to fast, run your own race – all the things I’ve not yet mastered myself.
I was Green start this year I had a few more stops to go and I wished him luck as he got off. Cannon Street arrived, the train was heaving but I found a seat. As it pulled away to the left was London Bridge, I said to the women next to me a few more hours and we will be running across it to which she made a grunting noise – OK then I thought to myself. A few stops later and a lot of runners departed, a few more to Maze Hill. The women had made a dart for a seat across the carriage, I’m sure I’d showered so it could not be that. Three other quickly sat in her bank of seats, obviously strangers but chatting as runners do, but not the women who sat silent. It was going to be lonely run for her I fear.
It was a ten minute walk to the Green start area, celeb spot number one – Jenni Falconner, eye contact made must not look again, darn second eye contact made.
I was not really sure what to expect from the Green Zone other than Tea, Coffee, Toilets and well Celebrities. The latter being quite disappointing other than Chris Evans and Greg James, the only two with heads not up there arses. There was a fenced off area and a tent for the celebs, all taking it in turns to be interviewed by the BBC. After getting bored with this I walked about to try and keep warm and dipped in and out of a large tent for some heat. I chatted to this elderly chap his 450th marathon having raised over £50K for his charity of choice, impressive stuff. After 18 toilet stops it was time to head to the pens, I think there were 8 in total I was in pen 4. The green start did have its advantages, I crossed the line at 10:12 2 minutes after the start, compared to 20ish in 2012.
The run – the first few miles were busy, very busy with some narrow sections really slowing down the ability to get going. Already there were walkers for what ever reason, only they will know. The roads then widened and it was find the planned pace and stick to it. The crowds were out in force, both sides, the noise was unbelievable and definitely not experienced before even in 2012.
I was feeling good, pace was quicker than planned and I should have trusted my instinct and slowed it down. Looking at the watch it was 7:17 average pace but it did not feel it, was it the crowd was it the going with the flow maybe. I soon caught the 3:15 pacer, great I thought to myself stick here this is all you need to do. Having stuck with pack for just over two miles the pace had not changed, still 7:17, still feeling ok so went with it.
Half way mark and way ahead of planned time, slow it down this is going to hurt later (must listen on day). I knew that my parents would be at mile 14 so kept a look out for them, I spotted them before they did me. Time to give mum a quick kiss have a chat and then crack on, still ahead of planned pace. I passed the 15, 16 mile marks and was definitely starting to feel the burn, my hip ached, my feet ached, in fact everything ached.
It was around now I saw the three musketeers Scotty, Ian and Paul, they were looking tired leaning up against the barrier. I have no idea what I said, but I know there was no beer at the Inn and off I went.
The pace had caught up with me and had started to slow but the average was still on for a 3:15 finish so I carried on. Mile 20 marker, I was now hurting a lot, it was around here that I think I saw Alex first I made a gesture that I was expecting a shout on the mega phone to which he responded. I then saw Anne, quick hello and hug and carry on. Then I think it was Keith, my words I think were something along the lines of I’m really hurting now to which Keith responded take it easy and enjoy it. This was what I wanted maybe even needed to hear that kick up the arse to listen to the voice in the head. From this point on it was enjoy it time. I soon bumped into Sam, Rebecca, Rich and Graham (sorry if missed anyone) had a chat, a picture and the best tasting bottle of coke ever courtesy of Graham.
Mile 23 had arrived and Rebecca and her Dad were waiting both volunteering for Macmillan a cause close to us at present with Becs nan having terminal cancer. We chatted had a few pictures a hug and kiss (Bec not her Dad) and I was off again.
I was off still a way to go legs aching pretty bad and managing a run, jog, walk for the next few miles. I got speaking to a fellow walker who had also done Brighton a few weeks before in Sub 3, he joked I had finished by this time in Brighton what’s going on. He was in a worse place than me as I shook his hand wished him luck and took on another 200 meter run.
The next mile consisted of high 5’s and shouts of go on Ell not long to go as I passed the 25 mile mark. By this point I just wanted it finished I was done and continued on the journey mainly walking by now. The next thing I remember was a pat on the back and come Ell it was Martin and Jerry from LOSS they were both looking strong. I tucked in behind them and tried to draw some strength from somewhere there was none, the tank was empty. I was conscious of other runners coming along with 600 meters to go these guys and girls were PB hunting I kept over as much as I could. With probably 100 meters to go I jogged it out (darn just used that jog word again) to literally walk across the line. This is not a cross the line picture I will be buying.
Medal round the neck it was done London.
Is it my last Marathon, it is for 12 months at least I owe it to my family and I I’m sure my knees will thank me one day. I would still like to run a marathon where I stick to the plan so never saying never again.