Sunday, 21 April 2013

The London Marathon 2013

Today was a great day for London, the sun was shining and the eyes of the world were watching.

Having run the marathon myself (see last years post here) I was always planning to be there this year to support the runners. And then came the dreadful news, 6 days ago, of the Boston Marathon bombings. I couldn't believe the reports coming through - attacking the finishing line of a marathon is just the lowest of the low targets. Most participants are running for amazing reasons - personal achievements, overcoming great difficulties, in memory of loved ones, to raise money for worthy causes. And the supporters are all sorts of people: family, friends and often lots of children.

I'm sure you've all read the news reports, 3 people were killed, 180 injured, 1 campus police officer killed, 1 suspect killed and 1 suspect seriously wounded.

I'm guessing many people had reservations this week about turning out to support the London runners. To be honest, my husband wasn't keen on us all going as a family and although I understood his reasons, I felt that my support was needed more than ever. I know just how much the crowds mean to the participants. I wanted to show all the runners that have been training through this terrible winter that it was all worth it and I wanted to show the world that we can't be beaten that easily. "If the bombers were trying to defeat the human spirit they picked the wrong bunch of people to attack"(unnamed quote from Twitter, where else?!)
In the end, we did all go, and so did thousands of others! Our vantage point from Rotherhithe station was just before the 11 mile marker. We got there early in time to see the elite athletes - David Weir, Richard Whitehead, Mo Farah, and then more and more runners. I wished I could have taken more photos but I just couldn't stop clapping and cheering! In amongst them were Iron Man, The Hulk, Batman, Spiderman, a Beer Bottle, a Cockroach, a few Gingerbread Men, a guy in a suit and 3 Borats in just mankinis! I could have stayed all day, it's so hard to walk away when more and more inspirational people keep coming, but we had tested the patience of a 3 year old to it's limit so after 2 hours we had to go.

Congratulations to each and every one of the participants who crossed the finish line today. It was a difficult time to run and we are all super proud of you. I hope all the stiff muscles, aches and blisters don't take away from your amazing achievement: only 1% of the population have run 26.1 miles and you are one of them!

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