London Marathon 2016 - What an Adventure!
The London group were our “Experienced Marathon” group of runners, all having already enjoyed that marathon feeling previously (particularly that next day feeling). Roger Ward ran his 4th international marathon (New York 2011, Paris 2013, Tokyo 2015 & now London 2016) with Alan Mitchell (New York 2013, Tokyo 2015 & London 2016), Anthony Namana (New York 2013, Tokyo 2015 & London 2016) & Dave Provan (New York 2011, Paris 2013 & London 2016) running their 3rd international marathon.
Everyone else was embarking on their 2nd international marathon which has seen them running some pretty special courses in many incredible cities…New York, London and Paris to name a few. Over the course of this London program here are some of my highlights from the training track.
1. Training during the heat, not only was it tough physically, it was tough mentally - the guys just kept digging deep week in week out which was really impressive. Well done!!
2. The train (well in this case the car drive) to Sandringham - that was an all-round success on & off the track for this group. It was a really tough day but everyone did exactly what they needed to do. We had a lot of support form the extended ProSport family that day which was really appreciated by the runners.
3. The program (all the extra sessions) Everyone put in a truck load of time & effort away from the running track (the altitude chamber, swimming sessions, extra glute sessions, spin classes etc)
4. The 5.30am starts are always a highlight.
5. The social events we had - the weekend away, the pizza night, the breakfasts. These are a really important aspect in what makes a fun & successful trip.
Once we arrived in London…
Friday: At this stage snow was predicted for race day. Everyone was getting nervous so we were all praying it would pass.
Saturday: My favourite day, we headed to Regents Park for a stretch & light jog. Everyone was up & about and keen to get this race started. Breakfast as a team & then a train trip to the finish line so we could all find the post marathon meeting spot. Saturday was a low key team dinner & then bed.
Sunday: Race day. The weather was holding so that was great news for everyone. I could tell very quickly everyone was full of mixed emotions and the hotel foyer at 6.45am was full of excitement and nerves. The start line was a 40 minute drive from our hotel at Greenwich Park. The London crowd were fantastic, the course was full of bands, people cheering us on, noise, buildings, park lands - you name it, we experienced it. Because the course is a bit tighter than other marathons, the crowd were closer & a lot louder which was good or bad depending on your outlook... They estimated the crowd to be around 1.8 million which is huge. We had a lot of our runners families out on the course cheering us on which was great. My son Harry made sure I spotted him twice during the run which was my personal highlight for the day. The marathon had everything, tight roads, wide roads, flat surfaces, cobblestones, a few little bridges (my favourite was the 21k mark, turning right & running over the London bridge) we ran past the London Eye & along the river to finish running up Birdcage Walk which is where Buckingham Palace is (what a sight, what a finish line) St James Park was full of noise as we all crossed the finish line to collect our well deserved medals & pose for a photo (as Roger said - leave a bit in the tank for the photo - make sure its a good one). Many of our runners obtained PBs on the day but everyone finished strongly which was amazing. A couple of the guys had a tough run on the day but as I always reiterate, if the marathon was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Sunday night we all enjoyed some beers & a burger at a local pub, such a great feeling sitting there with everyone hurting in every possible position but knowing its all worth it because of the big shiny medal hanging around your neck.
Monday: Monday night was time to dress up, giddy up & celebrate like winners - we all headed to Eight Over Eight for dinner, drinks & speeches & then out to one of the weirdest clubs I’ve ever been to before.. Best on ground was Dave Provan followed closely behind by Hodgey. It was a great way to end the trip (although not so much in the morning)
We could not be prouder of the London 2016 team, the trip ran smoothly, everything went to plan & I honestly sit here today really excited & proud to have been a part of it. What a great crew! This race has ticked off another “World Marathon Major” for our runners and most of them are already looking towards the next one. The 6 majors are New York, London, Tokyo, Berlin, Boston & Chicago..
Keep an eye out - 2 more of the Top 6 will be released soon for 2017 (both will be first timers for ProSport)
- Tim Hazell
To join ProSport for an international marathon, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org