Sunday, 25 April 2010


Twenty-five years after I first tried to get a place, finally running the London marathon was all that it is cracked up to be. I’ve done a few marathons before, including big-city ones (and running along the narrow cobbled streets past the Trevi Fountain in Rome takes some beating), but I’ve never experienced an atmosphere like this one. Even the backstreets were lined with people shouting, clapping, cheering, singing (a special appreciation to the guitarboy and girls belting out ‘I’ve got two tickets to Iron Maiden baby’ from Teenage Dirtbag somewhere around Deptford, and to the Greenwich Labour Party’s jazz band, who seem to have been going since almost as far back as the original marathon). And I saw Richard Branson dressed in his butterfly wings – though it was a big disappointment after the event to discover that the Virgin Unite runners weren’t anything to do with the cabin crews’ trade union.

There’s not much I can add that hasn’t been said elsewhere at enormous length on the subject except that it was definitely worth the wait and ‘doing London’ is something that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime.