Tag Archives: London Marathon

London Marathon – April 13th 2014


At 2:23pm on Sunday 13th April, I crossed the finish line of the 2014 London Marathon in a time of 4 hours, 18 minutes and 37 seconds. I had a smile on my face and agonising pain in my legs but I had successfully completed the task that a few days beforehand I wasn’t even sure I was going to attempt. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t fast but I finished it and, all things considered, I’m happy with that.

The run itself went as well, if not better, as I expected. It was a beautifully hot day (well, apparently not that hot but it felt like it was well over 20°C) and I started the race calm, relaxed, happy and pain-free. I had stuck to my plan of having no plan and had resisted the urge to bring my Garmin “just in case” because I knew that if I was wearing it, I’d start stressing over pace and time which I didn’t want to do. I found a comfortable pace early on, easy to do when surrounded by so many people, and stuck to running comfortably – low heart rate, easy breathing, barely pushing it. I was stunned by the sheer exuberance of the crowds even in the first miles through Woolwich and Charlton. Early sunday drinkers crowded outside pubs that had inspirational music – well, “Eye of the Tiger” – blaring from speakers; masses of people lined the streets cheering, shouting encouragement and holding signs of support while children held their hands out to be high-fived by passing runners. It was incredible and unlike anything I’d ever experienced and enough to put a smile on even this old dour face.

The miles started slipping by and the first 10km seemed over in no time as we passed the Greenwich Naval College (scene of the final showdown between Chris Hemsworth and Chris Ecclestone in “Thor: The Dark World”), past the Cutty Sark and then up through Surrey Quays. I kept an eye on the clock at each mile point and worked out that I was roughly sticking to 8:30 miles which I was happy with.
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Winging it

The London Marathon (2014 edition) is now only three days away, or two days and three nights if you prefer pedantry, and I will be at the lining up at the start.

I’d be lying if I said I felt ready for it. Since the Berkhamsted Half, my running has been hit and miss and aside from 15 miles across two runs in one day, I spectacularly failed to manage a long run of any distance at all. Between work and personal life building up, training has fallen by the way side. Mentally my focus has been elsewhere and even as recently as Monday, after an otherwise enjoyable run left me in copious amounts of pain, I was considering deferring until next year.
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Time Marches On

It’s March and I find myself once again in an all too familiar and depressing situation – whether or not to pull out of a race because of injury. It’s a little depressing that I am once again writing this sort of post, especially when I have several race reports to write up because, yes, since recovering from breaking my foot last year, I have raced. Unfortunately, it’s as a result of the most recent one (report coming soon) that I am sitting here wondering what to do.

But first, some background. At the end of November, at our club AGM, we had the annual lottery for the London Marathon entries allocated to the club. (Read more information about that scheme on the VLM website). On a last minute whim, I put my name into the hat and, yes, you guessed it, won a place. Then, three days later in a rather foolish and ill-advised foray back onto a rugby pitch, I pulled my right calf muscle quite severely. Why was I on a rugby pitch? Don’t ask and I won’t tell (although I wasn’t playing a game of rugby – I never made it that far). The injury was serious enough for me to be relegated to crutches for 3 or 4 days and so December became a month of enforced rest.
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