Virgin London Marathon 2021 – 03/10/2021

After more than a 2 year absence it was great to have the London Marathon taking place again for mass runners around its usual course. Although crowds around the course were not at their usual levels, there was still tremendous support all along the route and this support, with crowds shouting your name and cheering you along every step of the way, makes such a difference. The London Marathon really is such a unique and special event and I highly recommend it if you are lucky enough to earn a ballot place or prepared to raise money for a charity place!

Covid restrictions meant that all runners had to show proof of a negative lateral flow test on entry to the holding pens at each of the three different start areas. After that it was a nervous wait in the start area waiting for the race to begin! The weather was almost perfect with cloudy conditions and cool temperatures ideal for running. Once the race began it was difficult not to set off too fast with the cheers of the crowd and the downhill section in the first 3 miles. At around the 6 mile point we encountered the first Jags supporters in the crowd with Hattie and Hayley cheering all of the Jags on! Shortly after you reach Cutty Sark, one of the best sections of the course where the cheers and support from the crowd provided a great boost. Similarly, just before halfway crossing Tower Bridge is another very special moment with amazing crowd support and is undoubtedly my favourite part of the course. After feeling fairly comfortable beyond halfway, around the 16-18 mile mark was where things started to get tough and as I passed 20 miles on track for my target time my pace started to drop. It was at this point that we turned back into the wind, which had started to pick up. The stretch along the River Thames back towards Big Ben seemed to go on forever! But eventually we reached the turn near Big Ben and the end was near, with just over a mile to go. Despite feeling the pain of over 25 miles of running, this last stretch was enjoyable as the cheers of the crowd spurred me on again to push towards the finish line. The site of Buckingham Palace and taking the final turn towards the finish line was such a tremendous feeling and as I crossed the finish line I was delighted to have held on to achieve a new PB time!

Nine Coltishall Jaguars took part in this race with Ellie Gaskins and myself both achieving new club records. Rod Bye achieved a new age category record and Stephen Pointer and Jackie Bye achieved PBs. Jack Stuttle produced an amazing run to go sub 3 hours in his first ever marathon, Stephen Brown completed his first marathon as a Jag in a great time and Ruth Steele also achieved an excellent time. Neil Button ran a tremendous race and was on track for a sub 3:10 and good for age time until he took a very unfortunate fall in the last few miles. I know that Neil will be back and will achieve this time very soon! All in all an excellent day with brilliant performances from all Jags involved!

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith2:48:58Yes and new club recordDiamond
Jack Stuttle2:58:47First TimerGold
Ellie Gaskins3:20:24Yes and new club recordGold
Stephen Pointer3:20:44YesSilver
Rod Bye3:22:00New age group recordDiamond
Ruth Steele3:55:32Gold
Stephen Brown4:11:12First TimerSilver
Jackie Bye4:15:55YesGold