This is what I did this weekend. My body is telling me that it was great fun, incredibly rewarding and very tiring.
In order, marshalling at Clair pakrun, 14 miles along the South Downs Way, then lots of clapping, cheering and laughing at the London Marathon.
I was tucked away at the top of the downhill section to marshal on Saturday at parkrun. It’s a really good spot as you see people before they head off down the hill, although there is a spell for a few minutes when you don’t see anyone until the quick boys come past on the second lap.
On Saturday, it was great to announce the parkrunner of the month for March. The winner, Sue, was there on day one and typifies what parkrun means to us. She comes down with her family, friends and neighbours and is always smiling. She’s getting quicker as well and removed a huge chunk from her PB on pacer day.
I am currently in that bizarre space between recovering from one marathon and preparing for the next one. It is 3 weeks until 3 Forts. I’m not really sure what to do. I’ve never been in this position before with 2 marathons in quick succession. I don’t really know what to do, but I think that my legs told me on Saturday.
Jay and I took the train over to Shoreham and ran home. This takes in part of the 3 Forts course and I really love this part of the South Downs. I know it very well from my cycling days.
It was a bit of a struggle to get over Newtimber and the downhill sections are pretty steep, which is not the best way for my knees to spend the afternoon. We did, however, make it back home in just over 2 and a half hours, which is the pace that I am going to be aiming for at 3 Forts.
It’s pretty easy to see from these photos why it is so great to make the effort to get up onto the South Downs Way.
We got a really early train up and there were still lots of spaces at the barriers a couple of hundred metres from Tower Bridge. Perfect.
The first athletes who came through were the para-athletes. It was pretty awesome to see these people. Partially sighted or blind runners with their guides and amputees all went through. It’s quite humbling and amazing to see how people overcome adversity.
Finally, we saw Richard Whitehead. This chap touched the hearts of many people during the Olympics and the place went crazy as he ran past. It must have been such a buzz for him, as I imagine that was the reception he got most of the way round.
We watched all of our club runners come through and then headed off on the long walk over Tower Bridge, along the river to mile 25 miles. It’s a long walk, but worth it. It was still possible to get to the barriers to cheer people on.
The noise on the Embankment was at a different level. It was the cheering point for many of the charities and the volume increased each time a specific charity’s runner went past.
This is where people need the help and they got it.
If ever there was any doubt in my mind about getting up very early on a Sunday morning, when I could have done with staying in bed, then I think that these photos prove that going to London was the best idea I have had for some time.
Well done to everyone for doing this, runners and supporters. Well done all those BHR people who reached some amazing personal goals. The most incredible performance came from Helen Pratt. 2 marathons in 2 weeks and the smile on her face on Sunday was just amazing.
So, it was time for a quick beer at the lovely Blackfriars Station before heading home after the most incredibly rewarding and tiring weekend for some time.