The London Marathon 2008 (100 years of the marathon distance)

13th April 2008
26 miles 365 yds
Four years had passed since my first London Marathon. So I felt wiser, if not massively fitter, than my first effort. In the lead up injuries had held my training back and knocked my confidence somewhat. So I set my self a target finishing time of 3 ½ hours, and hoped I was capable of it.
After the usual mix of transport, a walk from my London Hotel then a tube train followed by an over ground train and a longish walk, I arrived at Greenwich Park and 1 of the 3 start areas. As is customary I frantically sorted my kit out along with 1000s of other runners.
In what seamed like no time at all it was 9:45am and the long queue of runners set off with me being much further forward in the line than 4 years ago. I learned from my frustrations of not being able to run at my own pace that year due to the vast amounts of slow runners blocking my way. My strategy worked and I managed to set off at my own pace and run as fast as I could, with none of the excuses of my last effort.

After settling into a nice rhythm I soon noted the Maasai warriors running alongside with shields and arrows raised, amongst many other costumed charity runners. Borat, just about dressed, in a green leotard got loud cheers as did the guy that was constantly juggling 3 balls.
The crowds were fantastic and even a downpour 1 hour in, after a sunny warm start didn’t dampen their cheers, it did however come as a welcome relief for 10 minutes for all us runners. The drummers under the bridges and music blaring out of the pubs was also a big hit, and the runners in front trying to do the YMCA dance whilst running was further amusement.
Getting towards the end (23 miles) running down the embankment I started to feel tired but at this point I realised that I could possibly beat my PB of 3.22.16 so I pushed on and ran hard. It worked and I set a new PB of 3.21.58, a much better time than I thought I could do and 15 minutes better than my thwarted 2004 effort. I collected my medal very satisfied with a really enjoyable run.

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