As I’ve mentioned before, I planned this trip to London hoping I would be accepted into the London Marathon. When that didn’t happen, I decided to go anyway. I love running around cities and towns that I travel to – and often just running can be as much or even more fun than running a destination marathon. So, in between sightseeing and going to pubs, my friend Gina and I went out running through the parks and streets of London, and even met up with a Nike run led by Paula Radcliffe, and we went to the Expo for the London Marathon.
We were staying at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel (review coming soon) which was very convenient to the finish area of the marathon. So, on marathon morning, after a stop at a nearby Starbucks, we went over to see the course. First, we saw a number of the wheelchair athletes. We were so thrilled – we screamed in excitement for them!
We walked a bit further in, and – OH LOOK! – there we were at the 26 Mile mark! I was excited to be right upon Buckingham Palace and the finish line of the race, but I was a little reticent in light of the Boston Marathon bombing a few years ago.
Security seemed top-notch and there were plenty of checkpoints, which allayed some of my fears.
I wonder if the Queen, who had just celebrated her 90th birthday, was watching the marathon.
We left the finish area and walked around Hyde Park and even came across a changing of the horse guards. We returned to the 26-mile mark and watched the lead elite women runners come by.
We returned to our hotel, showered and came back out to watch more. The runners were exuberant, many running for charity and many more running in costumes. It was festive and fun! Of course I felt that little I should be there with them pang, but mainly, it was fabulous to be there and cheering.
Yes, it was a great day!
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