Manchester Harriers and AC News Articles
London Marathon 2012
Where to start – what a great experience the whole weekend was. This was our first 'London' and it lived up to its reputation. Right from the off, the support was brilliant. After walking for 15 mins before crossing the line, we were met with applause and shouts of encouragement from the crowds, which sent us off with big smiles on our faces, ready for the adventure ahead.
The first landmark we were looking out for was Cutty Sark and after 6/7 miles, amid tremendous crowds and noise, the beautiful ship came into view. It was a fantastic sight and marked the first 'tick' on our route list. Buoyed up by the support, (no pun intended!) we carried on around the course until a growing crescendo heralded our approach to Tower Bridge. What a noise – shouts, screams, clapping, hooters – it was quite overwhelming. This brought us up to the half way point, our second 'tick' on the route list.
Following the route we headed into the Isle of Dogs. The crowds didn't abate and we were cheered all the way to Canary Wharf, our third 'tick'. At this point we saw (for the second time) our own support, in the form of Alyson's brother. We'd seen him just before Tower Bridge, which we were really pleased about – to see him again here, was brilliant. This spurred us on and we knew that after Canary Wharf, we would start the long run in to the finish line.
I won't lie – it got tough at times. I remember Tony saying that the race starts at mile 20 and he was right but we kept on at it, helped by the encouraging supporters, shouting our names. We even saw Jenni Cuniffe (ex Manchester Harrier) at mile 23 – how lucky was that amongst the great throngs of people. Eventually, we saw the London Eye. We'd been up on this the day before and had looked at the Embankment, commenting that we would be running along it the next day. Well, here we were, doing just that. I can't tell you what a relief the sight of Big Ben was. To us it heralded the beginning of the end.
As we were about to turn the corner onto The Mall and the 'finishing strait' we heard our names being shouted again – it was Alyson's brother once more. What a perfect finish for us. We had big smiles all over our faces as we ran towards the gantry, arms aloft. We crossed the line together and then the realisation began to dawn on us. We had completed our first 'London'.