It’s the London Marathon today and crowds of brave runners are limbering up in the spring sunshine. In our house we all feel a bit sad not to be there.
My husband’s competed in the race six times and the rest of us always pitch up to cheer him on from the sidelines.
We start at Deptford, scoot across to Canary Wharf and then hop on the tube to watch him as he staggers to the finishing line in the Mall, usually (hopefully) in just under four hours. We shout ourselves hoarse for everyone – from the world’s elite athletes, running like gazelles and making 26 miles look like a piece of cake, to the thousands sweating it out at the back. While we scour the crowds looking for him, it’s fun to spot the runners dressed up as Tarzan or Elvis Presley or assorted fruit and vegetables.
It’s always such an inspiring day, with people running for a multitude of different reasons. Some run in memory of loved ones, others to achieve a lifetime’s goal. Virtually all of them do it to raise money for charity.
One year my husband ran the 26 miles in honour of my wonderful mum, so it was especially moving. He wore a T-shirt with her smiling face on the front and raised £7,500 for the NSPCC, her favourite charity, along the way. She would have been very proud.
But for the last couple of years he's sat it out, reckoning he hasn't done enough training to compete. So this morning he's set out on a seven-mile jog through Oxford with our teenage son. The trouble is, he looks a bit glum not to be waiting for the start at Blackheath. “I’m definitely doing it next year,” he says.
PS. Good to everyone running today!