London marathon - the hottest on record
Our team of 19 runners are freshly back from having run the race of their lives! The London Marathon. It has been a massive 8 months, at least seven of my team were also with me on the Berlin Marathon campaign, so have effectively been in training for well over a year now!
We trained all through the Summer, averaging over 1400km & I would say we have probably had at least 32 ice baths in that time. Various Christmas and New Year’s functions were sacrificed, we ran through heat and absolutely put in the hard yards over the holidays. Our group consisted of runners from Melbourne, Tasmania and New South Wales so a lot of our training was done via correspondence and following each other on Strava and communicating via Whats App. A huge highlight of this trip was a group bonding weekend down in Hobart which involved a dinner and a 36km run.
Certain that we had all the hard work under our belt through Summer and that the cool temperatures in Hobart would provide a good feel as to what London’s dreary weather would be like on the day we were ready to go!
Upon arriving in London the city was abuzz with marathon talk….it is literally everywhere there. On the news, in the papers, the radio, people on the streets were talking about it. The Royal baby being born whilst we were there paled in comparison to the hype of the marathon. This is my 4th international marathon and I have never seen so much hype. It was both nerve racking and super exciting! The other big buzz around town was the heatwave that was coming. Our team were not too fazed by this given we had trained through Summer, and hey, we are Australian and should have this covered over the Brits!
Race day arrived and the hotel foyer was buzzing with excitement as we piled into coaches heading to Greenwich Village for the start line. The sun was out but the temperature was lovely. We lined up at the start line and we were off! Nothing compares to the feeling of a start line at these events (except the finish line!!)…
The marathon takes in some iconic landmarks and we were all feeling amazing from the start to the 10km mark where we passed the Cutty Sark. By the 21km mark things were heating up but the experience of running over the spectacular Tower Bridge was very uplifting. The next 20km were tough…In a city with over 40,000 runners, crowds lined in rows of 3-5 deep the entire course, hot asphalt, the sun beating down with not a cloud in the sky and no shade things were getting HOT. The fire brigade had come to the party with showers on course & these provided a very welcome relief. Water was taken at every drink station and consumed or simply poured over our heads. It took everything we learnt and experienced in training to keep hydrated, stay fuelled and keep pushing.
Dreams of PBs were altered mid course as the battle became just to finish. Running along the embankment and watching the crowds hanging over bridges and lining the streets buoyed us towards the finish line. Under his scaffolding, we could just make out the shape of Big Ben who is undergoing restoration for the next couple of years. We knew once we reached old Ben, we just had to turn the corner and run towards Buckingham Palace. By now, the excitement was creeping in as we knew we were going to make it and the feeling of seeing the Palace on such a huge day was just next level. One more corner to go with the Palace behind us now and the finish line in front, we were finally there. Running through the finish line and getting that medal has never felt more earned than it did that day.
The conditions added on considerable time to each and every one of our runners expected finishing times. Whilst this is of course disappointing, it’s a fact of the marathon life that you cannot control everything come race day. It’s a good reminder to all of us that what we do IS HARD & it is a challenge… but was it worth it??? …..we all know the answer to that, it ALWAYS is & we will all say we need a break and in two weeks time will be looking for the next run to keep us going. It’s a funny hobby this running love of ours!!
Special shout out to Kim Loane who earned his Abbott Medal, the coveted “6 Major Marathon” medal & to long time ProSport member Nina Muhleisen who we honestly thought wouldn’t quite get there given a campaign riddled with severe injuries. She not only finished but she smashed it! I am so very proud of this entire team, we all know how hard we worked that day and those medals were more earned than any others we have ever received in the past. FYI this year’s marathon was the HOTTEST ever on record. Completely unexpected and unlikely to be that hot again. I think we all want to go back and give it another crack!!! Despite all of this, the London Marathon was an exceptional event, the organisation is excellent, the course is nice and flat, landmarks are plenty and the crowd support is insane. I really didn’t think you could get a bigger crowd than New York until we saw London. I highly recommend this event as one to put on the bucket list…maybe 2019 is your year!!! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org more information.