There were quite a few members of the club running the Virgin London Marathon 2017 and as always many club members who were not running were up at mile 19 1/2 supporting not only our club members but many other runners.
Since joining the club I have always enjoyed VLM support, the atmosphere is amazing and I find the whole day stressful, exciting, invigorating, inspiring and emotional on many many different levels.
The day dawned and after sending out best wishes on the club Facebook page to those running, hubby and I met our pals and travelled up to London.
I had some dear friends taking part and I was determined to cheer them all through.
At mile 19 1/2 we set up our base. Some club members were preparing oranges to give out, some were cheering the elites though whilst others were unpacking jelly babies ready to put into pots for those who needed a sugar hit. Our first running buddy zooming past in super quick time (he finished in 2:53), we cheered on all as soon running buddy after running buddy arrived at this check point. Some stopped to take refreshment or pats on the back, some waved as the went past not wanting to slow down their pace. The sun was out it was getting warm.
Our best friend was due in next and his wife was with us (also one of our best friends), already worried as he had set off too quick (by the tracking app) we were concerned on how he would be by the time he got to us, soon he arrived, relief flooded through me, he looked ok and he gave his missus a hug she too looked relieved. A quick pep talk and he was on his way, he looked tired but still strong.
A few more friends came through, one really lapping up the attention and stopped, selfies were taken and cheers all round. An amazing moment in a day of amazing moments.
We were waiting for our final running buddy, one of my good mates and I had been training with. It was getting late and we were worried. The tracking app showed she was nearby so myself and 2 friends walked up the course, there were few runners now so we knew she needed a boost. In the distance we saw her just as she saw us, tears from her and I felt glad we had made the effort to meet her. We grabbed her and hugged her, then taking her hands we walked her first to the water station grabbing a drink then down to the support group. I felt so proud, I always believe nobody gets left behind and today of all days I wanted to prove that to all. I gave the painkillers over as requested, and she was on her way.
Running isn’t always about pounding the streets, counting the miles or PBs sometimes its about pure raw support and being there for others, cheering people on, basking in their glory and celebrating their achievements. If you have never been to London to see the marathon I would recommend it, its one of the few times you get to see people in the capital cheering others on, people talk on public transport and the atmosphere is just brilliant.
Roll on 22 April 2018!