I don’t know who invented the idea of a ‘fun run’ over 26.2 miles in the form of a Marathon – you call that fun? – but the London Marathon does work as a great idea, primarily for all the charity fund raising achieved.
The London Marathon has now been running since 1981.
In that first race it was so poorly laid out, or the runners were so amateur, that one guy took a wrong turn and ended up in St Alban’s, about 20 miles North of London. You would have thought he would have noticed that no-one else was running with him, but then he probably hoped he had won the race.
Every year, the Marathon drags out 36,000 people from the elite and fit, to the fun and even crazy, to run around our fair City and enjoy it's wonderful skyline.
Yesterday was no exception as I was one of 36,000 people who stood at the start line and ran around London.
The thing about the London race is that it gives you a chance to appreciate London without traffic from the great moment of crossing Tower Bridge:
at 13 miles, most runners are still reasonably alive at that point.
To the moment you run down Embankment and reach the Houses of Parliament:
at 26 miles, most runners are pretty dead by that point!
In between are sights and sounds, bands and parties, cheers and tears. A great day out.
My aim was to get around in under 4 hours 30 minutes but, after a number of knocks and shoves around Canary Wharf – was that a fund manager or investment banker? – I had a problem.
After those moments, a few old pains and injuries picked up during training were reawakened, one of which is right in the heel of my left foot whilst the other was in the lower back, and so I pretty much had to walk the last six miles.
Hence, 4 hours 49 minutes was the final result.
But it doesn’t matter as the whole point is raising money for charities.
Picking up the London Marathon finishers T-Shirt yesterday, the back of
the shirt commemorated those years since 1981 by stating that there
have been 458,562 runners raising £422,000,000 for charities.
And so far, I’m delighted to say that we’ve raised over £2,600 for St Clare Hospice, the local hospice who cared for my mother-in-law during her final days last year.
They do a brilliant job as it costs £22,000 a week to run the centre and most of their income is from volunteers and bequests.
Every £1 helps the cause so if any of you feel like helping us to get across our own finish line of £3,000 raised, that would be fantastic.
Oh yes, and a massive thank you to the many family, friends and colleagues who have donated so far. St Clare and I really appreciate every donation.