I don’t recall ever watching a marathon live. Everyone I’ve ever been at, I’ve been running in.
I decided to go up and support the London Marathon. Its been on my To Do list for a number of years now. I was of course disappointed to not have gotten in through the ballet, like many thousands of other people.
But being a supporter, and not a runner, was an unbelievable experience.
The atmosphere was electric as I perched on some railings just after Tower Bridge and approximately 12 miles into race. Everyone going by was looking strong and comfortable with the exception of the odd person who might have overcooked it early on. I made sure I was shouting support as loud as possible as I know from personal experience it makes such a difference. On my first marathon in Paris I had my name on front of my top and so many people shouted out in final few miles it really kept me going. The lady next to me at London Marathon said to me, how do you know so many people? I politely explained I didn’t and was just shouting the name of the person on the front of their t-shirt! After a moment of embarrassment, she got stuck in herself and was shouting from the top of her lungs.
I moved on to mile 22 to help cheer on people coming into the home straight and arguably when they need it the most. Again I found a great spot, on a well positioned concrete block right next to the course. Screaming, clapping, shouting and generally making as much noise of encouragement as possible, I like to think I did my bit to support many runners. It was my way of giveback for all the people who have stood out shouting and clapping me home on my runs.
That evening I was left with feeling of awe from everyone I saw putting in real gutsy efforts, totally inspired to one day hopefully do the London Marathon and motivated once again to dig deep on my own running aspirations this year.
If you’ve never simply watched a big city marathon, then my advice is DO it. You will be left breathless and inspired by the support and runners alike.
PS ballet for 2017 marathon opens on Monday…. just saying :o)