Wednesday, April 25, 2012

London Marathon 2012

The months of pounding the streets through rain, ice and wind reached their fruition when I toed the line last Sunday at the start of the Virgin London Marathon. This was the fifth time that I have run this marathon and my training had gone reasonably well so I was hopeful of posting a good time.
The forecast was for showers but the sun shone brightly throughout my race (it rained later in the afternoon.) I was pouring water over my head by mile five to keep cool, and I did end up slightly sunburned. The crowds where out in force cheering the elites and handing out jelly babies to the slower runners. All the runners owe a debt of thanks to the people of London who never fail to take to the streets in their thousands to enjoy the spectacle and offer massive support to everyone taking part. This is their marathon as much as the runners.
I paced the first 13 miles as planned and went through the halfway point in just under 1 hour 29 minutes. I slowed a bit around Canary Wharf, put picked up the pace again when the 3 hour pacer overtook me. Unfortunately, I got cramp in my legs at 22 miles and had to slow significantly. I limped home in 3 hours 8 minutes; a respectable time but I had hoped to get closer to the 3 hour mark. There's always next year. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and thank my friends for their fantastic support around the course. I finished the day off with some well-earned beers.

Ring-necked Parakeet, this bird appeared
to be pecking at the mortar, maybe it was
obtaining minerals like its wilder cousins
do at salt-licks.
The previous day was spent at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust centre at Barnes, a true oasis in a concrete desert. I managed to see my first Common Tern of the year as well as close views of Ring-necked Parakeets; not everyone's favourite bird but this colourful alien is always fascinating to watch.

Me at the end of the marathon in Horse-
guards Parade.

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