Flora London Marathon, April 18, 2004

Laurie Iselin

 

We went, we ran, we finished. It wasn't easy.
 
No one made it clear that the primary reason for doing the London Marathon was to raise funds for one's

favorite charity. Any cause from catastrophic diseases to save the animals of the forest! To save the Rhino.

And then some. So if you think of the Revlon Run/Walk or Race for the Cure pace, and multiply by

32,000 people, you get a good idea of how our day went. Running in a straight line was definitely out of the

question. Bobbing & weaving was the strategy of the day.

First of all, there was a major costume theme party going on. People showed up in full furry animal garb...

gorillas, rabbits, rhino's...to pin wheels, birthday cakes, variations on a jock strap theme, a man in a green

thong painted to look like the rain forest, and there was even a man with an ironing board & iron strapped to his

back. (My kind of guy!) You get the picture? Cindy would have been under-dressed!
 
To add to the confusion, after several sunny bright days, we awoke to cold wet humid weather. For joy! It never

got much better. We could have used windshield wipers and galoshes. The course was somewhat un-inspired...

we saw a lot of London one should consider skipping. We did see lots of wharf, industrial & commercial areas

and did not hit any tourist spots until we reached the embankment (mile 25) and turned the corner for home at

Big Ben. They taped the cobble stones with bad indoor/outdoor carpeting which made the stones seem preferable.

Oh our aching feet.
 
They say there were half million spectators. The crowds were lively...and in many cases quite blitzed for such an

early hour.  The only entertainment I clearly remember were some very sad-looking skinny belly dancers and

some old dames in cockney outfits that all looked like Margaret Thatcher.
 
But the high point for me came at about mile 16 when I was decked by a flying elbow to the ear. A kindly

gentleman runner tried to cut me off and whacked me in the head. He kept right on going. Who said chivalry is

dead? I did! So much for momentum and a PR!
 
By the time we rounded the corner near Buckingham Palace ...no one cared a 'you-know-whatí about the

Queen...just... 'where the hell was the damn finish line.'
 
Karenís official finish time was 4:32:48 and I made it in 4:34:37. Not too shabby, all things considered.
 
We did hook up with Pat Scheutz (our international MERM wannabe) and had a great stay in London. Once we

finished running we took up drinking... to drown our pain and cap off the month-long carbo-loading fest.
 
By the way if you do get over to London, do not miss "Jerry Springer, the Opera" I haven't laughed that hard

in years.
 
So on to the next race...God help us all! 

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