After running the London Marathon this year I thought I would be more accepting of the rejection email that pinged into my inbox on Friday telling me I had been unsuccessful in the 2016 ballot (not even a Spiderman magazine for me!). But no, a huge wave of disappointment hit me and I joined the masses on Twitter venting my misery. By running the race in 2015 I achieved one of my lifetime goals, and having experienced the London Marathon when others have not had the chance to at all, I should really be more understanding. I was fortunate to secure a charity place through vInspired for this year’s event; however it seems just running London once is not enough for me, I have been spoilt by the race, and greedily want to have the experience again! But what makes London so great? I saw numerous Tweets questioning what the big appeal of London is when there are so many marathons to choose from; which led me to question what exactly makes London special for me…
1. The History
The London Marathon is somewhat of a national treasure, nearly everyone knows about it whether they like running or not, and it is a predominant event on the sporting calendar. I grew up watching the London Marathon on TV, and like many I was inspired by seeing the thousands of people pounding the streets of London. Paula Radcliffe’s World Record setting run at her home Marathon is also a special part of British sporting history.
2. The Support
The support at the London Marathon is incredible. The streets are virtually lined from start to finish, and this certainly helps get you through those tough times. I loved seeing the variety of people who came out to cheer runners on, the different banners created, and the various forms of fuel/refreshments offered out to tired runners. It’s an event which truly brings so many people from all parts of society together.
3. The Capital City
Running in your home country’s capital city feels a bit like the pinnacle of running. I love visiting London anyway, so be able to run there is just perfect. The course takes in a number of well-known sites, but my favourite part is the finishing straight – and not just because it means the race is over! The sight of runners streaming down the Mall is something I have witnessed so many times on TV, and being one of those finishers and knowing I had successfully completed the London Marathon, was a wonderful feeling.
4. The Stories
It seems every runner taking part in the London Marathon has a story behind why they are running, whether it is a personal challenge or a certain cause they are running in aid of. It can get quite emotional at times hearing why people are running, especially if they are taking part in memory of a loved one or for a charity which they have particularly benefited from. Out on the course, seeing the huge number of charities represented and the corresponding messages adorned to running vests is truly inspirational.
5. The Memories
Taking part in any form of running event leaves you with a wonderful set of memories, but all the above combined together means taking part in the London Marathon becomes one of those most treasured. Being able to share your training journey and the marathon day itself with family and friends means they also get to enjoy some of special moments the London Marathon brings. Running the 2015 London Marathon is certainly an experience I will never forget – and one I hope I will get to enjoy again.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...