Virtual London Marathon 2020

Well done to all the Allrunners who took part in the Virtual London Marathon 2020 and to everyone who went out and supported. Some of our runners have given their views of how the marathon was for them.

Jo Creed

Jo ran a loop of the common, out through Minchinhampton, onto Cherington, towards Rodmarton, then back into Sapperton and the finally along the canal path.

I blame Liz Halliwell, and Liz Halley I guess blames me!

The aforementioned Liz H thought it would be a really great idea if I joined her and Nikki for Liz’s inaugural marathon.  Why not?  I would ask Liz Halley if she’d like to join us.  We could plot a trail route and have fun in the Glos countryside we love so much.  Only I didn’t bank on that wind and rain…

I’m going to keep it brief.

– So much support – thank you to all who came out in that AWFUL weather.  Anne-Marie was incredible, popping up for everyone many times, and for pointing us in the right direction!
– A day out running with friends
– Danny plotted an amazing route – really flat, quite an achievement
– Liz Halley’s emotional support
– My 6th London marathon! A lot different to the other 5 but so much more chilled and easy to get to
– Another notch on the marathon bedpost
– At least we didn’t do three laps of the common (Marcia!)
– Seeing other “Londoners” on the way round and cheering each other on
– Nothing hurt or went twang (for me)
– A big gang at the end – unexpected, thank you for all the noise!

– That weather.
– My app didn’t start.  Realised at mile 2.  Had to run 28.2 miles
– My watch kept stopping.  7 times (!) so I wasn’t recording my miles and at the time the app wasn’t recording my mileage either, it took half the race to catch up and record. Much stress. The app helpfully told supporters where runners were – in London
– Couldn’t hear each other speak when we were on the common and it was SO COLD
– Got into a row with a “landowner” – get off my land kind of deal
– Waded through a LOT of muddy puddles (so cold so wet!)
– Liz’s knee/IT band went and the poor thing had to struggle on for more than half the race.  But she did it. Bravo hero Liz!
So would I do it again?  Of course I would.  I’ve warmed up and dried off now!  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger 😊

Marcia Gonsalves-Thompson

Marcia ran three very large loops of Rodborough and Minchinhampton commons.

Who would have thought that the London Marathon, for its 40th birthday, would be virtual! What a strange year this has been so far- however not a bad thing as I manage to get a place to do this. With 5 weeks to train, what can go wrong?

Training was done in very good, warm weather but marathon day could not have been any worse.

Got up, not at the crack of dawn as it was pitch black outside. Decided to start at 7am, to get it over and done with.

Decided to run a route close to home, 3 laps- first one 10 miles and two of 8 miles.

I set off in the howling wind and rain as it just started to get light. The app wouldn’t work! How can people keep track of me, especially in the horrible weather!

Felt good until I hit the Common at about mile 4/5 – the wind was so strong that I could hardly move! Persevered and met my friend Andrea, who is normally a fair weather runner to do one lap with me. At this point Anne-Marie came by, so good to see the first Allrunner.

The rain and wind did not ease up. Mick then met me at mile 14 or so and ran with me for a while, Andrea had left at this point.  I knew the others were going to meet me for the last mile but with technology failing there was no way I could let them know where I was, only that I would be passing home for the last lap. As we came across the Common heading towards Winstones a car tooted and Andrea, Sue, Lucy, and Mark piled out of their car- what a sight for sore eyes. I was so pleased to see them. Now I wouldn’t have to finish on my own.

Great to have so many people running with me. I think these were the worst conditions I’ve ever ran in but finished on a high with all my friends. As I approached home, my end point, John had put up some decorations and a ribbon across the finish line, with cheering from friends and neighours, it was a relief to get to the end.

Looking back on this a few days after the event, I feel really pleased to have done it. I could not have finished on such a high without the support of my running buddies. Cotswold Allrunners you are all ACE and so proud to be a part of this club. BIG thank you and lots of love!

Liz Halliwell

This was Liz’s first marathon – yippee! And her route was similar to Jo’s.

The virtual marathon was my first experience of marathon running and two days after the event I still don’t know quite how I feel about it!  The actual day was so different to how I expected, obviously there was the vile weather but in my mind we were going to be chatting along the canal path, the miles would disappear without me noticing and we would drink prosecco at the end, however the reality was very different! 

To begin with (apart from the weather) it felt like an exciting Sunday run, there were several people on the common to see us off and we even had an official air horn start!  Kate van den Broek and David Michael joined us for a bit on the common and we saw Mick Playle as well.  We also had our bicycle outriders for support, although Jamie unfortunately suffered some punctures and Russell fell off in the mud!

After the common the tracks and fields were progressively muddier and the puddles deeper but luckily we didn’t fall over (something of a relief to me after my unfortunate training injury) and by the time we got to the canal path at the Daneway we were soaked and muddy.

I can honestly say I’ve never done anything so hard in my life, several times I thought I might cry but somehow my legs kept going.  I was so tired I couldn’t speak which those of you who know me well will know is most unusual!!  I am so grateful for all the support along the way, from the Allrunners who popped up in various places, the dog walkers who spotted our race numbers, the friends and family who were there and at the end but most especially to Nikki, Danny and Russell who kept me going when I wanted to just give up! 

I am in complete awe of all of you who do this sort of distance regularly, I had absolutely no concept of how hard it is until I tried it myself.  I am not sure I will be repeating it although I expect that another marathon (maybe not virtual and with better weather) could be quite a different experience. Anyway I hope this report doesn’t sound too negative, it isn’t meant to … I am only just coming to terms with the achievement myself!  I can’t wait for my medal and t-shirt to arrive in the post, I will definitely be wearing them both when they do!

Stuart Sharland

Stuart started later in the day and ran along the canal path to Daneway, back again and then a bit more….

The organisers tried to make it as much a race experience as possible, I thought the app was great (if it worked), and the prospect of receiving a medal and a T-shirt was really exciting.

We were very lucky on the day, most caught the really bad weather in the morning, but me and Mike went out at 1pm and missed most of it, and at times during the early stages were a bit too hot.

We ran from the Beagles, along the canal path, onto the Lavender Bakehouse, crossed the road onto the Daneway, through the car park onto the bridge/fort and back again until just before Kitsch.

That gave us 17 miles in the bag, we also bumped into Rachel and Bea as they went through 25 miles so finished with them, so instead of running along the canal onto Kitsch, we ran Cainscross Road, until we could get back onto the canal path at Kitsch.  We then continued onto the canal path onto the bypass and then onto Eastington and back which gave us our 26.2 miles.

I really enjoyed the day, I thought the support from spectators and runners alike through our, over 5 hours run, was great and a credit to the Stroud area.

Like all marathons it was tough at times and bits of me that don’t normally hurt, hurt during the last few miles.