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the location of the start of the back of the marathon

one advantage of starting the marathon at the back was i got to see this fantastic view before i set off !
i was hoping this would be a panarama but it didn’t quite work properly. so have two bits instead.

cutty sark

photo of cutty sark i took as i whizzed by whilst doing the marathon. it looked quite good and i think we’ll go visit some time.

huge in the bedroom department

i wanted to take a photo of me with the docklands in the background so i did a moving self portrait.
imagine my surprise when i looked at it in full and read what the street sign said – this was totally unplanned !
(note how busy the track is around me)

click for astonishing bigness

me in greenwich

self portrait at the location of the start of the marathon.
despite being in a crowd of over 35,000 runners it’s weird how i didn’t really have a conversation with anyone for 7 hours (from when i arrived at the start).
I suspect this was mostly because i did it at a different speed to everyone else. note the yellow fleece which i took off whilst walking (quite a feat as i had a backpack and a running vest on top of it).
i also haven’t got a hat on at this stage. when it started getting really sunny i decided i needed a sun hat so i was going to pick up one of the discarded ones. but i didn’t want anything too scanky. luckily just as i was thinking i might have no choice someone from the crowd gave me a free one advertising bottled water. and it was just the job.
in the background of this picture is the isle of dogs where the marathon course eventually snakes round to.

how i walked the marathon

i started at the back with a few thousand others. here we are making our way to the start line. at this point i was feel very unsporty in my long trousers, fleece top and mini rucksack (nearly everyone else was in shorts and running vests).

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we slowly shuffled until eventually we reach the starting line:
because i was walking, a few thousand runners whizzed by me in the first hour. this was a bit depressing, but then i’m not in any way sporty so i wasn’t too bothered.
it was a bit disturbing seeing people pack away around me though:
i kept my pace steady throughout the race and enventually started to catch up with some of the people i’d stood with in the original line with.
By about half way my walking speed was faster than those who’d run as far as they could and were walking the rest of the course. By the time it was 8 miles to go i was being rarely overtaken myself and it was me who was doing the overtaking.

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those last 8 miles were great as my patient pace meant i could really push a bit faster to the finish. and i was whizzing round people (without having to resort to anything as vulgar as running).
somewhere in the middle my feet stung like mad things so i took my pain killers which helped hugely.
the last bit of the route is very well known walking territory for me so i knew how far i had to go. i even had time for a self portrait with big ben behind me:
and finally i made it to the finish line:
the official photographer said i looked ‘very fresh’ and i realised i hadn’t really broken in to a sweat or got out of breath the whole race !
In the end i came 33,507th out of 35,680 people.
hoorah for walking. hoorah for all your lovely sponsoring and support. (and hoorah for pain killers)
give yourself a medal:

you are what you wear

the outfits some people wore were amazing. i couldn’t imagine running a marathon normally, let alone wearing a heavy hot costume.
here is a giraffe chasing mr tickle chasing the police:

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here is the pink panther answering his phone:
and a star and a person pretending to be a star:

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i did it !

i did it. official time was 6:12 which i was quite pleased with.
i think i had around 15 minutes of ‘stoppages’ including waiting 5 -10 minutes for a potty kid to get me a plaster in the first aid section, and having to leave the course to buy a bottle of water from a local shop when they ran out of the free stuff (because i was so far behind at the start). then there was the mid-marathon toilet queue which was a few more minutes …
my knees were fine (hoorah for the power of prayer) but my feet no longer look like they did this morning !
i took around 170 photos so expect plenty more marathon photos and stories over the next few days.
but for now, here’s a self portrait somewhere around the 18 mile mark (around the time of my medical pitstop – the grin hides the pain)
thanks everyone for your generous sponsoring – it really kept me going !

the big day

i’m writing this at 5.30am on race day just before leaving to get my train to london. see you later !


a training walk

on holiday i did lots of training walks for today’s marathon. one morning it was so windy (and cold and rainy) i nearly got blown off this sea wall in to the slimey bog to the left.
whatever the weather does today i suspect it won’t be as bad as that morning !

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registering for the marathon

i registered yesterday for the london marathon. i’ve now got my number, my safety pins and a magic chip thing to time my journey.
if only my knees would stop throbbing i’d be almost quite excited about this Sunday’s activities
by the way – have you sponsored me yet ? be great if you could, even just a small amount
here are the registration desks:
and here is an arch of balloons to increase the excitement level:
there was also a trade show type thing where you could buy any manner of marathon clothing and food and drinks. flora were there in force as they are the official sponsors. and because marathon runners love snacking on marge as they run.
but they did have some quite nice mini yoghurt things:

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marathon training

andy and i went on a marathon training walk today in Windsor Great Park. we did 25km in just over 4 hours. not massively speedy, but a fair pace i think.
have you sponsored me yet ? i’d really appreciate it if you would – it’s all for a good cause.
here are andy and i on our walk. i look weird because i’m walking backwards to try and take a few miles off my pedometer.

click to admire our handsome-ness
here’s another photo of me checking i wasn’t going to crash in to someone (the problem of walking backwards):

walky talky

tonight is a celebration. it’s been exactly one year since i started studiously measuring my weekly walking distances.
so, i can tell you that in the last 52 weeks i’ve walked 3,296 km (about 2000 miles i think). It might actually have been a bit further than that i suffered from a malfunction just after christmas !

2000 miles from london would take you to quite far away. you could have literally moments of fun trying to work out where i could have got to from london (or your favourite local grid reference) by using this fancy thing.
My weekly average is 65km, although since i started my marathon training it’s jumped to 75km/week.
which brings me back to my begging question – will you please sponsor me for the marathon ? (thanks to those who’ve already sponsored!)

** please sponsor me **

10 mile training walk

i went on a 10 mile walk with my friend andy yesterday. he organised the route. the idea was to see how long it would take so i have some vague idea of what time i’ll complete the london marathon.
i wore two pedometers which gave two completely different readings. luckily one of them was right though.
it took us 2hrs 20 mins which we were pleased with.
part of the training walk was to see if i could take photos on the move at speed. so i set my camera to manual and tried my best.
most of the photos turned out ok (see rest of today’s pictures).
here are andy and i walking at speed past a fish eye mirror.

marathon photo challenge

i did a training walk for my marathon attempt yesterday evening. i walked from Tate Modern to Paddington in an hour (i went via southbank, up past the houses of parliament, round the outside of St James’ Park, past buckingham palace and then up through Hyde Park). no idea if that’s quick or not as my pedometer seems a bit random at present.
now, i’ve realised that i never actually walk very far without stopping to take photos, so my average speed is a bit slower than i expected.
what i need to do is improve my moving photo technique. here is my first attempt of a moving flash photo:
oh dear.
still, this is what training is all about !