It’s nearly time for that spring spectacle when thousands of runners will, once again, tackle the capital’s 26.2 mile route. It may be too late to secure your place on the start line of 2016 Virgin Money’s London Marathon but taking on the role of spectator can be just as enjoyable, if not more so.
So to help us gear up for the 35th annual London Marathon, taking place this Sunday 24 April, ABC Selfstore has pulled together some crucial spectator advice to help you get clued up ahead of the big race.
In the role of spectator, similar to those athletes taking part, you will need to be well prepared before the race begins. Hundreds of thousands of people gather each year to watch, and every year seems better attended than the last with almost the entire route lined with onlookers. As some places will get uncomfortably busy, our advice is to make a race day plan. Make sure you’ve planned where you want to be, what time you need to be there and how you’re going to get there. There will be road closures, so stick to the Tube, but be prepared for crowds and allow yourself enough time to get between stations.
Whilst you stand by the side of the course, and savour your bacon sandwich in the eyeline of passing runners, keep an eye out for any future Olympians. Mo Farah won it consecutively for three years from 1998 to 2000. There will also be various wacky and wonderful official Guinness World Record attempts during the marathon. Previous attempts have ranged from the fastest marathon dressed as a leprechaun, to the fastest marathon in high heels. There has even been a man wearing a fridge! So there is plenty to be on the look out for.
If the weather doesn’t go in your favour raise a glass to the runners from the comfort of a local pub. Plenty of establishments will be hosting special events along the course, so to find out where you can watch the runners stream past with a pint in hand visit the official Virgin Money London Marathon website.
Once the race is over there will be around 40,000 exhausted runners all looking for their families and friends so, as you can imagine, the finish area will be jam-packed. General advice is to avoid this area unless a previous arrangement has been made to meet a runner in the designated meet and greet area.
The 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon will be a great event to attend with a buzz of excitement guaranteed. Clap, shout and cheer until you’re hoarse and enjoy the fact you’re not actually having to run the marathon 26.2miles.
My 2016 London Marathon Journey
The plan did not go as expected. I was supposed to run the London Marathon in 2015, unfortunately a leg injury meant I had to defer my entry until 2016.
Here’s where my 6 months of training began:
Whilst recovering from my leg injury I put three stone in weight on (I suppose the term couch potato comes to mind) and in October last year the hard work began.
I started with using the cross trainer and doing spin classes in my local gym twice a week then came the moment of truth on the 21st of October 2015 I did my first run of the year reaching 4 miles. The realisation of what was ahead kicked in!
Between October and April I gradually upped the times and length of my training runs and during this time I have made countless trips to various sports shops to purchase various running items, and training gear to help me with my training.
I have enjoyed building up my collection of running medals as well as doing my own training runs:
- Brixton 10km 10/01/2016
- Olympic Parks 10 Mile Run 06/02/2016
- Eastbourne Half Marathon 06/03/2026
- Wimbledon Half Marathon 13/03/2016
- Kingston 20.1 Mile Run 03/04/2016
So far the unpredictable English weather has been very kind to me in all my training runs – I have only got caught in the rain twice.I am now 95% excited for Sunday 24th of April, and 5% (I think this is my legs talking) looking forward to it being Monday 25th of April when they get a rest!
If you are reading this and will are one of the hundreds of thousands of people that will be lining the streets of London then please give me an encouraging cheer!
I will have a navy blue t-shirt with nickname “CHUCKLES” printed in white on the back and front, along with my running number “17593”.