The London Marathon – A Rite of Spring

Sunday week will be the 8th time that I have lined up for my local race – the start line on Blackheath is just over a mile from home. As there isn’t much running to report on this week, I’ll do a look back on my previous London Marathons.

1997 – I had started running just over 2 years before on the advice of my doctor, I had been suffering from dreadful post-viral fatigue and she thought that running might help me get over it. She did joke ‘no marathons to start with’ …. so I waited a year until I applied. My training was pretty much single paced and I had little clue as to how fast I was running. I found it easier than I expected and got around in 3:59 – my last mile was by far the quickest to get in under 4 hours.
2002 I got a very late charity place a couple of months before the race and I hadn’t really done enough training but took a big chunk off my PB to come home in 3:30, sadly plus a few seconds.
2003 I had run a half marathon in 1:27 three weeks before and persuaded myself that the twice your half marathon time plus 9 minutes calculation was achievable…. it wasn’t, my fitness was probably around 3:15, so my early pace meant that there was little left by the time I reached the Tower of London and struggled all the way down the Embankment to finish in 3:25.
2004 – training was plagued with minor injuries, particularly plantar fasciitis, and it was a relief to get to the start more or less in one piece – 3:24 was a reasonable result.
2005 – should have ‘my year’, I was in the form of my life ….but broke a toe and heavily bruised the top of my foot and lost 3 weeks training and could still feel the broken toe on the start line – so 3:20 was a great time.
2006 – my fitness wasn’t quite as good as 2005, but I stayed injury free and managed metronomic pacing until 25 miles when cramp hit – the last mile or so were hell, particularly the last 400 metres on The Mall but the incentive of a sub 3:15 kept me going – staggering over the ‘line’ 3:14:36.
2007– it was all going so well until early February when I had to take evasive action to avoid colliding with an out of control small dog, my Gluteus Maximus strained badly and after then I was playing catch up, running through small strains that I should have rested up for. I was ‘cut up’ by another runner at a drinks station around mile 11 and trod on a bottle in the desperation of avoiding a tumble. The net result was that my sore calf became a strained calf and while I continued until around 15 miles, my journey to The Mall was on the Docklands Light Railway. Another passenger in the carriage was Haile Gebrselassie, who had dropped out further up the road with an allergic reaction.
2014 – we’ll have to see…..


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