Having run both Spring and Autumn marathons I’m not sure which is the better option. Spring ones means training through the worst of the Winter and this has been a particularly tough one with one of our long runs being so cold that it took your breathe away, we’ve also had snow and ice to contend with and it hasn’t been fun. Last year, a few of us did an Autumn one which meant training through the hottest part of the Summer with our longest runs in August, we had to get up and out very early to miss the worst of the heat but it was still exhausting. The problem is that race day weather is so unpredictable as we saw this weekend at the London Marathon when temperatures hit a record breaking 24 degrees and at Loch Ness Marathon last September when it dropped like a stone and left us freezing on top of a Scottish mountain.
Unfortunately the weather this weekend meant over a hundred people were taken to hospital in a serious condition and one sadly died. Matt Campbell was an experienced and very good runner as were many of the other people who were seriously affected by the heat. I was on the elite water station at three and a half miles and people were struggling even then because it was already scorching by 10.30 am, a couple of hours later I was on the Embankment waiting for our runners to come through 25 miles and there were lots of runners in serious trouble; the legs had gone and they were staggering all over the place. We saw runners that we knew like Terry Merry and Jonathan Algar who were so focused on putting one foot in front of the other and getting through that they couldn’t hear a dozen of us yelling their names and almost missed us. There were a lot of broken people out there and anyone who went the distance should be immensely proud of themselves just for finishing.
It’s unforgivable that the water stations at 8, 9 and 10 miles ran out of water. My nephew was on water station duty at 9 miles with the sea cadets and didn’t think that they had anywhere near as much water as in previous years and ran out after only about a third of the runners had been through, it took an hour to replenish stocks and with no water at the next one either, many runners would have gone from mile 7 to 11 with no water. Having said that, many runners were taking two or three bottles at each stop without considering anyone else and I’m sure at least some of that ended up being chucked aside so I guess we have to take some responsibility for that as runners.
We didn’t have many SLGR out there but the ones that were did us proud. Jonathan was the first SLoGgeR home in 4.32 having lost his running buddy Mark Browne on Tower Bridge. Mark came in at 5.15 after struggling with his achilles, then Susan Neal in 6.20, Alex Slater in 6.38 and Kate Shutt in 7.02. You should all be very pleased with your times in that heat, especially as most of you had never done a marathon before. Please send us some of your pics and we’ll post them on the blog.
Entry opens on Monday for next year’s London Marathon and I am sure many of you will be applying yet again, let’s hope we have a few more successful applicants next year than we did this year but for those of you who get rejected, please keep a copy of either your entry or rejection emails if you want to be entered in to the team ballot and make sure your subscription is paid up or you won’t be eligible.
Once again, a massive well done to everyone who finished the 2018 London Marathon #SLGRheroes