Report by Justin McKeever
The London marathon is one of those iconic races that has a mix of everything. As a world marathon major, they always boast a deep world class elite field, but there’s also a huge number of charity runners, all kinds of fancy dress, celebrities and anything in between. It gets full coverage by the BBC every year and is always great to watch. The race is amazingly well organised, the support along the course is incredible and the atmosphere is like a carnival.
The course is flat and fast, and due to the big field of 40,000 runners it has 3 separate starts in Greenwich which combine after a few miles. The course works its way past a lot of the famous sights of London, from Tower bridge, to Canary wharf, Big Ben and Buckingham palace, finishing on the Mall.
Q: What do you call a runner who gets passed by 3 men in a boat, a lobster and spiderman?
A: Absolutely F*@%£d!
Myself and Ed McEntee met up just before the start and had plenty of time to catch up and discuss tactics…… in the very civilised queue for the portaloos. It was a tricky topic given my lack of long runs of Ed’s lack of speed work. At the head of the queue, we parted ways without concluding which training strategy was best, agreeing it was probably an ecumenical matter.
Ed and race reporter Justin
As an optimist, I was planning to go out steady and see how long I could last, then try and wing it for the rest. During the race I found myself wondering how a person could go through such a spectrum of emotions in such a short time, going from elation to perseverance to torture in just a few miles. The first half was super-enjoyable and I really lapped up the atmosphere, running through some sections were like a wall of noise! I was feeling great up til just after halfway, then tried to hold it steady to 20miles. From there it was digging deep for damage limitation, where I was reduced to a near-crawl for the last couple of miles, but with one final push for the last 385yards to finish in 3:12:24.
Ed ran a super race finishing in 3:13:40 and we met just after the finish line. I think Ed paced it better as he seemed to be ready for post-race refreshments, whereas I could barely speak and just stayed around soaking up the amazing atmosphere.
So that’s the marathon out of my system for a while and any thoughts of an ultra any time soon have evaporated. Time to recover those legs and get ready for the Dublin gradeds!
Mckeever, Justin (IRL) 03:12:24
Mcentee, Edward (GBR) 03:13:40
Barry, Emma (IRL) 03:46:14
Willoughby, Stephen (IRL) 03:52:44
Gilmore, Catherine (IRL) 04:14:50