London Marathon 2012 – seen through the spectator’s eye

Yesterday one of the first great sporting events for 2012 took place, the London Marathon.  This 26.2 mile run takes you through the city’s most iconic buildings, it’s exciting, interesting and pretty emotional.   It was a day not to be missed as my housemate Mel has been working hard these last few weeks to get herself ready for this tough physical challenge I’m not sure I’ll ever have the guts to sign up to.

It was a Virgin sponsored day as I got their first train south from the Midlands to make sure I got there in time to give my support and get a place at mile 18 by Canary Wharf.  I definitely feel I got a good view of the highs and lows of the run at this point.  Here’s my experience from the spectator sidelines…

First up were the wheelchair entrants,  you could really see at this stage the challenge involved in keeping your arms going whilst navigating a vehicle for such a long distance.

The elite athletes came through next and what an incredible sight to see, fitness in its purest form!  It looked like a run in the park for them, they barely broke a sweat and certainly didn’t get distracted from the task in hand.  The first place runner crossed the finish line at an epic time of 02:04:44 (get the full list of results here)


The next level of athletes followed and you can certainly see their strength and determination to get to the end in good time.

As the time moves on, more and more runners come through and you start to see some great fancy dress efforts.  For the bravest outfit, check out the picture I posted on the Facebook page.

The going got tough for some at mile 18 and there was plenty of emotional hugs and kisses to friends and loved ones.

All of this seen in the shadows of the impressive Canary Wharf…

…with everyone’s ultimate aim being to get to the finish line in one piece.

 All in aid of a great physical achievement and significant funds raised for the charity of your choice (this would be mine of course, you can find out more about why they should be supported here).

After a day of rest and relaxation I asked Mel to sum up her experience of running in the race – “It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, very surreal and something I’ll never forget.”

What were your experiences of the day? Did you make a Marathon effort? Watch it from the sidelines or in the comfort of your own home? Are you even tempted to sign up to next year’s Marathon?


  1. April 25, 2012 / 9:21 pm

    Great post Laura! You really captured the spirit of the day! It was a fantastic atmosphere at mile 19. I will definitely be back next year to support whoever is brave enough to run (not me, noooo way!)

    • ThisCityLifeLondon
      April 25, 2012 / 9:31 pm

      Ha, I’m not sure I’m brave enough to enter either still despite all of the inspiring entries. I’m sure someone will enter that we can cheer on from the sidelines again!