After doing the New York Marathon in 2013, the bar was set high for beating that experience. London Marathon, however, a great deal due to the fantastic spectators along the course, having a party from start to end (meaning they were pretty intoxicated by the time I came along).
My first spot in London Marathon (in 2014) was secured through Springtime.no since I did not risk loosing out in the lottery (when all the traveling agency spots are taken). I had, as I always do, trained way too much way to late and ended up with both shin splints and hip bursitis, but didn’t want to miss out, so I started anyway (a real recipe for disaster in other words). Well, the race wasn’t very glorious for my part. The last 17 km I crawled my way to the finishing line with a severe limp, in the end using about 12 minutes/km, while piss drunk English men cheered me on the whole way, offering me beer (which I declined) and “lifted” me the rest of the way while shouting encouraging phrases like “Come on love, you can do it!” Have I mentioned I love these guys? Dissolved in tears and in excruciating pain, I managed to cross the finishing line and grab the medal. When I came to my senses again I was able to enjoy the though of all the crazy outfits I noticed on my way, like several guys running with a giant rhino’s head, one lady was trying to do the marathon in high heels (don’t believe she made it, though) and the best one of them all, a guy carrying an old fashion fridge!
My second attempt in London was in 2016, where I secured a spot through Rogaland Marathon Travels. At least time I did not have any injuries to blame, so I completed in my usual slow manner. This time, I managed to enjoy some of the costumes along the race. Among others I passed a several meter long T-rex (you know, the feeling of finally passing the dinosaur…) and right before the finishing line, I crushed Jesus on a cross (a guy running barefoot, tied to a huge cross).
Among the six marathons included in the Abbott series, London is definitely my favorite. Securing a spot, however, can be tricky and the wait list can be several years, unless you are fit enough to qualify or lucky enough to win the lottery. But hey, “Wait lists are temporary, big fat medals last for ever” 🙂