Sunday, April 26, 2009

The London Marathon 2009

Our good friend Roy, is running in the Marathon this year and our plan was to get some really good pictures of him by placing ourselves at strategic points along the route.

roy001 We got up early to ensure we were away by 8.15. It looked like it would be a fine day for the Marathon (contradicting the forecast given on the TV!). We had a short breakfast with Mum and left on time. We  travelled over to Abbey Wood Caravan Club to meet Susan, Janine and Lauren and got there around 8.50. We were lucky enough to get the one remaining parking-space just inside the entrance - perfect! Susan met us and we took a short walk to the caravan where Lauren and Janine were getting ready. Susan commented that Roy was in good spirits and he had eaten like a horse the previous evening - pasta, pasta, shepherd's pie and pasta!!!

roy003 We watched a bit of the Marathon on the TV before heading for Abbey Wood station and taking the short journey to London Bridge. Then, we all jumped on the DLR and headed for Canada Water. Boy it was getting warmer and warmer and the area was packed! We we were notified by text that Roy had started at 10.08, so it was quite straightforward to work-out what time he was likely to get to our  roy002first stopping-off point. We all tried to spot Roy with sufficient notice for us to get some photographs, but by the time we saw him, it was too late to take any shots. Plan 'B' then - go back to Canada Water and go to Canary Wharf. Unfortunately Plan 'B' was scuppered when we noticed that 1000s of people were also trying to board the Tube at there. What a nightmare....and completely pointless to even try! So, we walked to Surrey Quays shopping centre and settled in Burger King at around 12,30 to recharge our batteries. The day was turning out to be a scorcher and we then took a brisk walk along Jamaica Road via Southwark Park (lovely!) roy004before jumping on the Tube at Bermondsey. We got off at Waterloo and walked over the Bridge. We realised that looking over the bridge down onto Victoria Embankment was the perfect vantage point to get some shots of Roy - and perfect timing too as according to our calculations, Roy was due in the next 15-30 minutes. We all managed to get to the front of the crowd and the perfect view lived up to its promises. Roy appeared about 10 minutes later and I managed to get around half-a-dozen reasonable shots. Mission accomplished!!

roy005 We walked along the Strand in search of a cuppa and eventually ended up in Whitehall (just like last year) and popped into McDonalds for some drinks - it was packed! We just had time to refresh ourselves before Roy rang to confirm he'd finished! We wandered down Whitehall into Horseguards (zillions of people milling around meeting the runners) where we met Roy who had just been 'processed'. Nice medal and a ginormous goody-bag

We then walked to Embankment station and headed for Charing Cross. We then caught the train back to Abbey Wood. We had a quick drink with everyone before heading home. We had a good journey and we were home by 7.35. Walking back Roy commanded a lot of respect from passers-by congratulating him on his achievement. Quite right too!

It's been a great day. The weather was gorgeous and it was very enjoyable walking a round London. The Marathon definitely brought out the best in people and there were various times during the day when we were talking to complete strangers! Over 35000 people took part this year and all of Roy's training paid off and he clocked a personal time of the 26.2 miles in 4 hours and 31 minutes - well done mate!

We are shattered..and we didn't even do the Marathon!