As many Londoners may have noticed by the inconceivably busy Underground, escalated police presence and the complete nutters running in the streets, the marathon took place yesterday. And, for the third time, I plonked on a set of trainers, and ambled to the start line with them.
My fiancée says I’m an utter moron for doing so and I probably am, but if you do it once, it can get bloody addictive. Not that the pain right now makes me want to run; every single one of my muscles has reneged against me and I have about as much mobility as an 80-year-old with one leg. It’s not even the achievement of finishing, though the goody bag at the end makes up for a lot (jelly snakes!)
No, the main thing that keeps me coming back is the crowd. Yes there are around 36,000 people running year in, year out raising money and awareness for charities or to prove something to themselves, which is cause célèbre in itself, but they’re heroism is sung, and it’s the crowd that do it. Every year you can’t move in the capital for the supporters lining the streets offering woops, cheers, words of encouragement, and in some cases, cans of beer to the runners. Then there’s the volunteers giving you water and that much-needed bottle of isotonic sports drink every few miles, each offering their own support and unique words of wisdom
They spur you on when you’re at your lowest, they keep you high when you hit a peak. There were points in the race where my body felt so relaxed and even tingly just hearing and looking through the crowd. The main factor for me, though was the support I received when trudging home with another marathon injury (three times, three injuries) incurred early on the course while attempting to avoid falling onto an idiotic woman’s child in a pram as she shouted “Leeroy Jenkins!” and ran across a very busy road because she couldn’t wait five minutes for a gap to appear.
As such, I was limping from mile 1o (at some points I even considered stopping), but the joviality and support of the crowd kicked in and I carried on to the end (just).
I’m sure many people have the same experience (with the crowd, not prams) and this is a shout-out to the personal and general support they give everyone for one Sunday in April. Thank you guys!