Having never run any other marathon, other than London, here are the 10 things I love about the London Marathon, although I am sure some of these would apply to any marathon experience.
- The Hype
London is special and the hype in the lead up to the event is amazing. The butterflies certainly set in, the first time the BBC plays their London Marathon advert. Social media goes mad with marathon tips, supporters tips, facts about the marathon and the general buzz is awesome.
2. The Expo
You have to collect your number prior to the race, and I LOVE the expo. (Read here) All the big running brands are there, lots have competitions for you to get involved with and win prizes. VirginMoney has a section which is always a lot of fun, with lots of photo opportunities. I am like a kid in a candy shop at the Expo!
3. The organisation
This is always spot on! You have all the information about the race about a month before, and on the day, from the moment you get off the train, there are people to help you and guide you to the start. Once in the starting pens, baggage is excellent and even toilet queues were not bad this year. At the end collecting bags and receiving the medal is always hassle-free.
4. Running a marathon changes your life.
“I dare you to train for a marathon and not have it change your life” is what Susan Sidoriak said and this is so true. It’s not just the grit and determination you need on the day, but the ability to train for one, to start one is pretty impressive. A marathon makes you realise how strong you are, and that you CAN achieve things that you originally thought were impossible.
5. The route
I have always loved London, ever since I went as a kid, and running it is always exciting. The sites are incredible; Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, The Tower of London, The Embankment, The London Eye, Big Ben, and then finally Buckingham Palace, what is there not to love!
6. The Crowds
The crowd support is immense. The constant cheering, the calling of your name, the music, the jelly babies offered, the banners made. The crowds are just epic.
7. The Volunteers
As I mentioned earlier, there are so many volunteers and they are so supportive. They cheer you on, they hold you up, they help you wrap up at the end; they make everything easy for you. As you approach baggage after the race, they have already located your bag, and hand it to you with a smile on their face and congratulations. Thank you, volunteers.
8. The Community
The marathon brings out the best in people. You read the amazing stories of people running, and the money raised for charity is phenomenal. Everyone supports each other around the course and congratulates each other at the end. You run with people you have never met before, and you probably with never see again, but they experience a life-changing experience with you.
9. The Costumes
Running a marathon is hard, so how people do it in costumes I do not know. I am in awe. It always makes me laugh too when I am slowing down, and I get overtaken by a man carrying a boat, or a rhino!
10. The Medal
It is such a nice feeling having the medal put around your neck: For a short moment that can be your Olympic moment that your dreamt about when you were younger!
Comment below and let me know your top things about running a marathon (It doesn’t have to be London)