Well done, London

First may I wish a happy St George’s Day to all English charioteers – may all your dragons turn tail and run.

Yesterday we paid our first visit to the London Marathon, having previously only watched it on TV.  Younger son was running this year, his big brother having completed the Boston Marathon last week.  The routine is to meet near the mile 11 post, close to Southwark park which has a playground for granddaughter.

It was absolutely amazing to see the runners, 37,500 of them, stream past.  Spanish dancers, a mole who must have been cursing the sun,  Smurfs, ghosts, fairies, serious club runners, those running for charities. I disregarded the élite runners, a small bunch of Kenyans with three pacemakers, since they get paid to be there.  This marathon is now one of the biggest fund-raising events in the world  and London is to be congratulated on organising it.  The crowds were vociferous and good natured; icecream vans were doing a roaring trade, pubs had opened early; a local evangelical church had set up a coffee stall to boost its funds.  A troop of jogging Morris Dancers arrived, to the great entertainment of our granddaughter.

Leaving aside the wisdom of running twenty-six miles, something the human body is not designed for, I was most impressed, particularly by the courage and determination of those runners who were just passing the 12 mile post when others were over 10 miles ahead of them and some had already finished.

7 thoughts on “Well done, London”

  1. I reckon anyone who even contemplates running 26 miles has a pretty good case for demanding a bed in the local lunatic asylum – it says a great deal about the British psyche that this event is not only held in Britain but attracts some 37,000 + participants 🙂

    I’m glad you enjoyed the day – sounds fun!

  2. But there are now marathons held all over the place, Boadicea. New York, Berlin, Paris, Prague… I don’t understand it myself. The original run was to bring important news to Athens, so there was a reason for that, but poor old Pheidippides then dropped dead, which should be a warning to everyone. It was a good day with lots of music along the route, as well as all the applause, and a fair bit of sunshine.

  3. I have never really understood this. Someone who wishes to raise money for charity, does something stupid like running 26 miles or that idiot iron man thing. Then gouges all their friends and acquaintances to donate whatever financially at n per mile.
    If they really wanted to give of themselves why don’t they just write a cheque or covenant 10% of their income to said charity? I object to the principle of dragging others into fiscal involvment generally out of embarrassment.
    I used to have this argument with the boy annually when he did his long distance swims. Needless to say I refused to contribute. I don’t like swimming and didn’t like his charities!
    So I think I’ll just echo Bo about the lunatic asylums!

  4. Christina, it’s not obligatory to run the marathon for charity. I agree with you about the awful blackmail of sponsored runs, swims, etc, but yesterday didn’t cost us anything apart from drinks in the pub afterwards.

  5. Bloody funny Chris, thank you for the laugh of the day!
    sheona, I’d have thought you might need the bottle watching that lot!

    Totters off to plant spuds, must have my new potatoes. Cheers y’all!

  6. I’m pleased you had a good day, Sheona. I suspect, like you, I would prefer to be a spectator, but I’m amazed so many people give up their time and make such an effort to raise money for charity.

    My friend’s daughter took part this year, and yes, I did sponsor her, but then I always sponsored her father too, he took part for many years before he died.

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