It’s a course which has seen some of the most famous British long distance runners pounding the pavements; Steve Cram, Steve Jones, Mo Farah and of course, Queen of the London Marathon, Dame Paula Radcliffe.
Today at Marathon HQ, we caught up with some of the British elite hoping to cause a splash on Sunday.
A big chunk of the talk with the “best of British” is around the training they’ve been doing ahead of Sunday’s race. Scott Overall, in fact, flew in this morning from Arizona where he was doing altitude training. His coach, he explains, is quite old school and likes getting him away from the track.
Charlotte Purdue, the youngest amongst the team, has already been in South Africa and Melbourne this year training, and finished it off in the most exotic of all – Teddington.
Aly Dixon tells us that although she’s self coached, she still has a huge support network around her who encourage her but also help to reign her in if she pushes herself too hard.
It’s a tough job…
Of course, being an athlete isn’t always a glorious career. In fact, most of the runners have experienced their fair share of dark times. Christopher Thompson is an athlete who has suffered from injuries more than most, with past potential victories being hampered by various niggles and knocks. He brings a shiver to the room when he casually drops in;
On the day if my plantaris muscle starts to hurt I can just push hard and hope it snaps, then run through it.
An audience member reminds him that he once referred to himself as a “Ferrari engine in the body of a Skoda” and asked if he still felt the same to which Chris replied that he’s downgraded and now has the body of a 20-year-old Ford Focus which has had several owners!
Susan Partridge tells the room how she knows that every marathon she runs could be her last and helps her to push that little bit harder. She adds that she will step back at the right time, but now is not the right time!
… but someone has to do it!
Jo Pavey, who has waited six years since her last marathon, is asked whether she’ll be going for it on Sunday. She smiles and says;
We’ll all be going for it on Sunday!
A huge good luck to the British athletes taking on the London Marathon on Sunday.