London Marathon Finishers

Virgin Money London Marathon: the things nobody tells you Part 2

We spoke to some former runners who shared the things nobody tells you about running a marathon.

The spectators are on your side…

Paul Tonkinson, comedian and runner of five marathons, told us to enjoy the high fives;

“If it’s your first marathon, never refuse a high five from the crowd; it gives you energy, makes the miles go a bit easier.”

… Mostly

Rob Deering, comedian with nine marathons under his belt, said beware the high fives;

“But take care, some little kids in South East London WILL fake you out. And if it’s someone from St John’s Ambulance, that’s not a high five, that’s a handful of Vaseline.”

Don’t be proud

Marcus Bean, a Chef who has run five marathons, shares his advice if you begin to struggle;

“It seems weird to just grab food off random people in the street but it really helps. Sweets, bananas, anything.”

Sweets can be moving

Paul told us  “A jelly baby at the 22-mile mark is the sweetest, most glorious thing on God’s green earth. A fruity sweet at the right moment is basically a religious experience.”

Beware of hoses part one

Eileen Stewart

“The Derry Marathon last year was one of the hottest days of the year and people were out with hoses to help cool us down, but a friend and I nearly got taken out by a cyclist who was trying to avoid the hoses.”

Beware of hoses part two

Charly Lester the CEO & founder of The Dating Awards and runner of three marathons said,

“I have done a marathon in 35 degree heat in Prague. Firemen sprayed us with hoses to keep us cool along the way, leading to a LOT of uncomfortable chafing when we finished!”

You’ll get beaten by a man dressed as a dragon

Rudi Schlenker, internet manager, eight marathons and four ultramarathons said

“See that man dressed as a dragon (or a rhino, or carrying an ironing board). He’s going to overtake you at 23 miles and there’s nothing you’ll be able to do about it. In fact you’ll get beaten by a lot of people. You’re standing on the start line and you look across. There’s a 70-year-old man, a slightly overweight woman who doesn’t look like she could jog to the shops and a 22-year-old wearing a vest from a running club. Two of them will finish ahead of you, but you’ll beat the 22 year old.”

Pace yourself Bambi

Ira Rainey, the author of Fat Man to Green Man: From Unfit to Ultramarathon, has run many marathons and shares some of the best advice you will receive

“Try to pace yourself throughout the race. Remember it’s probably better to start off a bit slower and finish with a bit of dignity, than sprinting off at the start and finishing like Bambi on ice. That said, the crowds love nothing more than laughing at a wobbly-legged finisher.”

The finishing line is not the end

Tim Phipps a Sports Marketer has one marathon under his belt and his top tip is as follows;

“When I finished, all I wanted was a drink. I was pretty dehydrated. The water station was 750 yards away – the longest part of the marathon by far – and starting to walk again after stopping was brutal. Once I stopped, I literally had no idea where I was and basically forgot all useful info like where my hotel was. It took me a full 20 minutes to remember anything.”

Enjoy your marathon

Anne Moore, civil servant, three-time marathon runner said

“If you start off conservatively and try to stay calm, there’s no better race. There’s lots of support and camaraderie between the runners which you don’t get at shorter distances and the sense of achievement is second to none.”

Be proud

Rob Deering: “After the race the rule is to wear your medal with pride for the rest of the day. The world needs to know about your achievement – and why you’re walking like that.”


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