The 40th London Marathon was certainly different, an unsupported solo event thanks to Covid and my slowest, soggiest, most socially isolated so far. I had 24 hours to complete it so what’s an hour or two? The official app shows 14:47:40 and an active time of 5:31. I can’t argue with either even if my tracker doesn’t agree.
Orage Alex forced a rethink on my ‘Here to Shere’ route which would have ended with a pub lunch with friends. Instead I opted, starting at midnight, for London streets under ‘lockdown’ with foxes, the homeless and the occasional addled group up to something nefarious. One ghostly trainer footprint on a dry stretch of pavement but not a single other runner – after all who else would be crazy enough to run a marathon distance in the dark and rain?
Out into the night
True to the forecast it rained throughout the 24 hours. Dodging standing water added hazard, time and distance, especially facing the torrents and pooled water on stairs in the dark to cross the bridges between Battersea and Tower and back (17 times in all). Ankle deep puddles almost had me sending for the Lifeboats.
Prune-like at 4:30am and 33km later I needed a hot shower. With my clothes set to drain I was ready for bed but my legs didn’t let me sleep. To leave something on the plate was the plan as it hadn’t been my intention to complete the distance in one go – I lacked the strength of will anyway That might have been a better plan for my legs though.
Still raining at 2:00pm Geoffrey came out to support me for stage 2 and we ran the remaining distance ‘doodling’ or dawdling round Clapham Common. There were plenty more virtual marathon runners around in daylight.
*Fund raising for charities is an essential part of the London Marathon as it is the largest single money raising event/day worldwide. This year’s cancellation meant that charities rely on this virtual event. Please think about giving generously to the RNLI or to your preferred charity to boost their activities. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Frank-Elston1