Sunday, April 26, 2009

London Marathon 2009 – A Sea of Champions

Congratulations to everyone who took part in today’s London Marathon. I went to not only offer my support to Cousin Di and other friends and work colleagues but to everyone who took part.

Whatever time you completed it in (or not) does not matter as much as having the sheer guts and determination to give it a go.

It is much more of a popular London street festival than a race. We can admire the speed and grace of the professional athletes taking part but the real champions are the 35,000 amateur competitors and their hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic supporters.

Di finished the race in 5 hours 12 minutes (by her watch) and was pleased as punch to have completed her first Marathon. Well done Di and everyone else for entering.

I am not sure why but I have never been really “into” individual competitive or team organised sports. My “little, big” sister is a professional gymnastic coach and simply loves all sport. When we were both small during Saturday’s “Grandstand” we used to fight for control of the TV. She of course would win every time and I would be forced to endure the horrors of Wimbledon, Olympics, Commonwealth games, European games etc. There is nothing much wrong with such events but they are just not my cup of tea.

I have always found it fascinating that when as a bloke you meet another “bloke” in an environment where you are expected to make pleasant “chit chat”, the bloke would talk about football in the full expectation that I would know what on earth he was going on about. Usually if you just nod and grin occasionally you can get away with it. He’s not really that interested in your view in any case.

But I have always enjoyed participating or actively supporting individual and team endurance events. Testing yourself either individually or in a team is a real challenge. This is why I think the London Marathon is so popular with participants and spectators. We live in a City where by and large citizens would be horrified if someone you did not know said “Good Morning” to you on its mean streets. Yet, today Londoners were openly shouting by name encouragement and support to complete strangers in order to help them to complete.

As an aside, I wonder how many female runners first name was Flora?

It is an uplifting day to those who do and those who enthuse. There must be lessons here somewhere comrades?

(Yes it is Pete and Katie Price who gave a cheery wave and smile - bottom left of photo)

No comments: