My London Marathon 2014 weekend

My weekend began with Mile End parkrun. I went there to hand out vouchers for the London Marathon Store but was also able to run. This was a great run because a lot of people from far and wide came and did it because of the small race occurring on Sunday! The attendance was 157, on Saturday not Sunday! I was really happy with my run as I got within 36 seconds of my PB which was good being only 6 days after Manchester Marathon.

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After the parkrun I got into work and it was such a great day speaking to amazing people doing the marathon. One person that was great to speak to was Charles Cousens. He is one of the London Marathon Ever Presents which means he has done every single marathon since it began in 1981. Charles also came in to see his medal because he actually donated the 1981 that sits on our medal wall.

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Another person that was great to meet was Jim. He has done 46 marathons so far and has put a pledge on our wall aiming to run 4 more before he turns 80 next year. He was such a lovely guy and had photos with me thinking I am an athlete and will do some big things in the future ha I will try Jim!

Later on in the day the “Emperor of Long Distance” Haile Gebrselassie came into the store to do a signing session. It was amazing to see him and his big smile walk through the door of our store. He seems like he is the happiest man in the world. I guess you would be if you’ve held 27 world records!

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Haile signed a book and t-shirt which I’m over the moon with. It’s still strange waking up with the t-shirt in my wardrobe ha

So to the main event. This was the first year I have experienced the London Marathon first hand. I have watched it on TV on many occasions and have always been amazed by the footage and amount of people running the streets of London. I went to Tower Bridge pretty early to get a good spot to see all the wheelchair, IPC and elite athletes. I run around Tower Bridge nearly everyday for work and fun but on Sunday it was so much more special. The atmosphere was electric! (See below, me and my London Marathon Store colleague Chelsea cheering on!)

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It was great to see all of the wheelchair and IPC athletes and I can’t imagine how strong they are. To be using your arms in such a way for 26.2 miles and at those speeds, unreal.

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It was great to see Richard Whitehead in action having read about his journeys from short distance running to JOGLE and winning basically everything. He was soaking it all in, I can’t wait to experience Tower Bridge within the race.

Me and Chelsea were standing on the left hand side of Tower Bridge so on the racing line which meant we got to see Wilson Kipsang, the winner, and the lead pack flying passed. It was amazing to see! I have always seen the speeds on TV and seen others going quick at other races but this was another level! To think they are running at between 4.30-5 min/miles for 26.2 miles is incredible. Wilson Kipsang got the new London record which was amazing. Shame he lost or had his passport stolen last week as he was due to come into the store on the Wednesday with Geoffrey and Emmanuel Mutai.

Another person I got to see fly passed was Mo Farah. I had such a strange feeling when he went passed. I got goosebumps probably because I had seen him on TV winning the 10,000m at the Olympics in 2012 and it was just surreal to be that close.

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After seeing the elites run passed I had to head off to work so couldn’t cheer everyone on. I’d like to say well done to Amy and Michelle who are both colleagues that work at LMS and Michelle is now the Assistant Manager at Oxford Sweatshop. They both did really well in the race. Amy ran a 5 minute PB so just over 3:35, which is awesome especially considering the heat and amount of people on the course. Michelle completed her second marathon in a week, after doing Brighton, with a second sub 4 run, epic!

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Above is a pic of me and Amy. Me with my Manchester medal and Amy with the London medal which is great.

I’d also like to say well done to Johnny and Kelly Hanrahan! They both run with the Adidas 26rs and they both did great. Johnny now has to get a new pledge up on our wall after doing the marathon in 3:17:02 which is awesome!

I’d also like to say well done to all of you that ran it on Sunday! It was such a hot day and I take my hat off to anyone that runs that gruelling distance no matter what time it takes. Whether it takes 2:04:29 or 6 or 7 hours+ you have covered the distance and have done your best and that’s all that matters. I have really enjoyed reading some of your stories on twitter and look forward to seeing what’s next!

My mission now is to do whatever I can to get into the race for 2015. Ballot, Charity (including maybe running in a rhino costume), and Good for age are my ways in, fingers crossed. However, I am now doing Brighton so two in a week will be interesting but it’s all fun and games.

Speak soon on Twitter via #ukrunchat #thefastesthouroftheweek etc & Facebook.

I’m off running in this epic weather today.

Steve

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