When you live in London, its hard not to be a part of an event , especially in a city buzzing with so much activity. One certainly cannot be oblivious to what’s going on around you. One thing’s for sure, you just never seem to run out of things to do. Its either a music concert, the theatre, a gig, a food tasting event, a gig or even soaking up the sun.
Yesterday was the 2011 London Marathon, which saw thousands take part in the city’s event to raise money for charitable causes, right from cancer to homeless children, war victims, arthritis, leukemia, heart disease and many more. Among them were my colleagues from ITV news, Bill Neely, Ronke Philips and John Battle.
Being a Sunday, I started to lazily catch up with the Marathon on TV with my cup of coffee and jam on toast. It wasn’t long before and I was itching to get into the heart of the city and experience the actual vibe in the streets, which was exhilarating. Listening to the interviewees and watching the runners on TV, I had to get out there.
Trying to make my way to the Westminister Station from the jubilee line was a bit of a struggle. With less than two weeks to the royal wedding, I’m quite inured to battling crowds in the underground.
When I finally got to the Abbey, I was amazed by supporters chanting positive messages to runners, and flashing message boards with words of encouragement. Since I obviously couldn’t be a runner at the time, it atleast felt good to be in the streets supporting others. I noticed every one that took part in the competition wasn’t necessarily a professional but were also amateur enthusiasts. There were people of all ages, sizes. It didn’t matter if you were young or old or where you came from. The spirit was tremendous.
Some of the runners were dressed in fancy dress costumes, which was a spectacle to look forward to. Though I’m not sure, how they managed considering it was 20 degrees yesterday but all the way through they didn’t seem the slightest bit unwavering and enthusiastic till the end. Who particularly caught my attention was Richard Whitehead, a double leg amputee who ran on prosthetic legs. He beat his own record by finishing in two hours , forty two minutes.
They all cried, huffed and puffed, but were determined to go on and of course without much of the crowd support and encouragement, I ‘m sure it wouldn’t be the same. On my way back in the tube, I was seated next to a mother who was nursing her son with ice packs who had just finished the run. She was absolutely delighted for him, you could tell but at the same time she was anxious about his dehydration.
It was nice to see fellow passengers in the train congratulate and offer him a place to sit and relax. Such was the beautiful spirit of the London Marathon!