Everything they tell you about the London Marathon is true.
The atmosphere and the sheer volume of people is like a cup final at Wembley. The support from friends and family in the build-up and on the day gets you through to the finish line.
The bands, DJs and charity supporter groups create a buzz from mile one to 26 and you really feel that London comes together as a city to celebrate the efforts of those running around the capital.
As I was fore-warned though, the pain in those closing miles makes it extremely challenging. It’s a mental and physical battle like none other I have faced.
The London Marathon is a special event for all these reasons and many more and it was with huge relief that I saw on the app that all five London Sport runners had crossed the finish line.
“Yesterday it didn’t feel real. This morning my aching body reminded me it very much was real.
The London Marathon was certainly a day to remember! From start to finish I had the time of my life. The power and spirit of London got me through it with a smile on my face.
It’s true what they say, Marathon Day is a day that people forget Londoners don’t talk to each other or make eye contact. It’s a day when everyone has each others’ backs, everyone is inspired by the person next to them. It’s truly a spectacular event.
To hear the screams and cheers for you, just as they were for Mo Farah passing by 2/3/4 hours earlier is an immense feeling. I went into Sunday thinking I was going to cry and, somehow, I didn’t but I certainly had my fair share of moments.
Most came as I saw others embrace family and friends at the side of the road, that’s what really got me. So what did I do this morning? Signed up for the ballot for 2020.”House of Sport intern and London Sport marathon runner Katie
Finally, I crossed the line in four hours and 56 minutes and House of Sport intern Katie Light (5:04.35) wasn’t far behind to ensure that London Sport secured a full house.
The mix and intensity of emotions at the finish line is bizarre to say the least. Mainly, it’s the jubilation of crossing the finish line and the relief that it’s all over and you’re able to stop.
All the months of training and getting friends, families and colleagues to sponsor your efforts have been worthwhile but – more importantly – the five of us raised a massive amount of money.
“The thing that stood out for me was the phenomenal support the whole way round the course.
I kept going every time I heard my name called, enjoyed the constant cheers and took joy from the many humorous signs people had made along the course. The crowd made it for me.
Well done to everyone who completed the Virgin Money London Marathon 2019 and thank you to everyone who showed their support, from donating money, giving advice, or lining the streets of London to cheer us on.”Tom, London Sport marathon runner 2019
Patrick, Tom, Rachel, Katie and I raised £9,462.22 at the time of writing and this money will make a massive difference for deaf and disabled people throughout the capital.
The most recent Active Lives data from Sport England shows just how important this work continues to be with inactivity among disabled people at 42% compared to those without 21%.
The money raised by London Sport’s five runners, three of which are employees, will support our ongoing work in helping deaf and disabled people to lead more active lives.
Perhaps, a few years down the line, it will be someone affected by the programme(s) we run with the money raised who takes on the 26.2 miles around the capital?