By Mike Finch
During yesterday’s Virgin London Marathon I was passed by a women dressed as a testicle in aid of prostrate cancer, the full cast of the Wizard of Oz and even saw two ‘runners’ attempting the 42.2km on stilts. I ran behind two men dressed completely in yellow lycra (even their heads and faces) just after halfway and spent some time along with a someone dressed as the Mr Men character Mr Tickle, who was running for children’s charity.
The London Marathon is part marathon, part dress-up, part charity fund raiser and part party. Throughout the entire course the crowds pack the route, cheering wildly for every single one of the 37 000 runners. The only part of the course that is quiet is the 500m tunnel just 6km from the finish and the experience is surreal – just the sound of plodding feet echoing around around the darkness.
Proudly, every one of our “Virgin Money – Insurance like it should be” competition winners successfully finished. Henning was impressive clocking a fast 3.28 despite spending most of his time taking pictures along the way. As chief logistics manager in our group, he has also taken the role of head photographer (check out our July edition for his handiwork) and is clearly the team speedster.
JAG coach Zamo completed his first marathon in a credible 4.14 despite being very nervous at the start while the experienced Mike, already a veteran of 30 marathons, predicted a 4.15 finish and did exactly that. Saul, the financial manager of our sponsor Virgin Money, also ran his first marathon and although he went out a little fast finished in an impressive 4.30.
Our only lady on the tour, Megan, despite being unable to train for large periods because of flu recently, was also impressive finishing in 4.46 while yours truly finished in 5.02 as I decided to enjoy a social run.
For all of us, running the London Marathon was a true privilege. It is a race that should be on every runners bucket list and despite stiff legs today,
it will be one that I long remember.
Well done to our Virgin Money competition winners again. We will celebrate at our local Stratford Arms later today, for sure.