After the marathon

A bit tardy with this, but better late than never. Annoyingly, my really bloody good camera conked out on Friday and so the compact was wheeled into action for Marathon Sunday. This is the 29th London Marathon I’ve lived through – anyone else remember the first, in 1981? – and it still doesn’t get boring.

t’s the only Sunday of the year I’ll happily clamber out of bed before 9am. It’s habit, from being woken up by preparations (and bands) from when I lived within water bottle-throwing distance of the route. Now it’s a leisurely stroll through the fun-runners at the one mile mark before wandering downhill to see the elite men at five miles – and hear the drummers under the flyover – and into Greenwich for a morning Guinness at six miles.

As an event which brings people together, it just can’t be beat.
London Marathon 2009
London Marathon 2009
London Marathon 2009
London Marathon 2009
London Marathon 2009 water station
London Marathon 2009
London Marathon 2009
London Marathon 2009
I couldn’t help thinking the police were a bit on the officious side this year – nagging a bloke stood on a bit of street furniture seemed a bit sour but may have been justified, insisting crowds stand on the pavement even at the end of the race wasn’t, though.
Bored policeman finds something to do
London Marathon 2009
London Marathon 2009
Getting a cheer
At the back of the field, everyone gets their own personal cheer, although I’m not sure they’re helped by seeing marathon officials dismantle the race around them.

And then… peace and quiet, with no cars allowed onto the course until it’s cleaned up. One day, maybe, the marathon street closure will last all day and people will be free to walk the streets of Greenwich. Until then, those couple of hours after the marathon are the best we’ve got.
The aftermath


  1. BS

    Me, my Mum, Dad and brother went to the first marathon and got a train to the Embankment. I even have a picture of me and my brother waving our little flags and watching out for his PE teacher who was running. This year I didnt even bother to walk up the road to the village, lazy b that I am.

  2. Pingback: Pictures from London Marathon 2009 |
  3. Stan

    The first marathon course in 1981 went down Canberra Road, where I lived as a child. Particular memories of that were Peter Duncan’s green and white check suit, and Bernie Clifton’s Ostrich.

  4. Bloody Vurriner

    I remember in 1981, being woken up at an ungodly hour on a Sunday and dragged by mum & dad (I was nearly 13 at the time) down to the bottom of Vanbrugh Hill to stand there in the cold in front of Greenwich District Hospital to watching people running. Ooh look there’s Jimmy Saville! Woo-bloody-hoo.

    That morning I vowed never to watch it again, and have totally ignored the existence of the Marathon until a few years back when a close friend ran it.

    Did I have a Damascene Conversion. Nah. Won’t do it again if I can help it. Glad I now live over a hundred miles away from the course if I’m honest.

    Then again, I’ve been a grumpy old curmudgeon from a blimmin’ early age.