To my shame, in 20 years of living in London I have never been to watch the London Marathon. It involves getting up early on a Sunday morning for goodness sake! But, after the events at the Boston Marathon, I thought it was time I gave London my support.
Not being a huge fan of crowds, I and a friend headed down to Rotherhithe – not a great tourist spot – so we were guaranteed a good view, and also mercifully close to an easy-to-reach tube station – Canada Water.
Our enthusiasm knew no bounds. We cheered everyone – including the pace setters – shouted out the names on the front of runners’ shirts until we were nearly hoarse and clapped till our hands hurt.
But we had not come to see the pace setters and the man in a gorilla costume or even Neil, Nick, Paul, Peter, Emmy, Jenny, Sally, Sanj, Tom or Tim… we wanted to see the stars of last year’s Olympics and we were not disappointed.
But the biggest draw of all was Mo Farah. Oh the excitement!
But for me, while seeing the big names at an event is great fun, it is the spectators, marshalls, police and support staff who make it a great day out.