London Marathon (Dave) – 23.4.17

Race report by Dave Phillips.

Wow what a huge non-stop event this was. Never been involved in anything like it before. By comparison  a few hundred in the Boston marathon on Easter Monday ( and no one else anywhere) and c40,000 yesterday plus probably the entire population of London + outsiders watching, screaming and encouraging us all the way round. Jenna was completely shattered at the end-not because of her super run- but because of the sheer volume of noise that accompanied her round the 26.2.

On Saturday we had a dodgy coach journey down with a driver who-although he came from London-didn’t know the way anywhere. However we got to the Excel Centre to collect our numbers, met a few mates from everywhere and got to the Clarendon Hotel right on Blackheath Common (200 yds. from the Blue Start). So all’s well that ends well.

Then the usual afternoon walk to Greenwich, its markets, Cutty Sark, Maritime Museum and othe delights so a good start to the w/e. Usual super evening meal in the hotel with Robina’s friends on Saturday to round off as good start.

Sunday came too quickly so after a massive breakfast off I went to the red start about 15 mins walk away but accompanied by thousands of others.

At 10:00 hrs the hooter went and we were off but the fun started at 3 miles where the blue, green and red starters all met where the roads merged and how packed it became and thankfully the pace slowed.

Music, bands, drummers, church singers, drummers, singers, groups, discos littered the course for its entirety which, plus the crowds’ noise made it a deafening experience. Also the 3 Massey runners who plodded past me added to the occasion as we chatted.

Mile after mile we plodded on crossing Tower Bridge near the half way point and what a great sight that was-again with crowds 5 deep on each side. Then on into the Docklands for great views, more music and huge crowds.

Eventually at about 23 miles the Thames came into view and the Embankment was our final run in with great Massey support from Dave Goodwin + gang, Rob and Michaela Eyley and the Brain and Spine Foundation’s cheerers.

Finally there was Buck. Palace on our left and the last 250 yards to go.

Then to round it all off we had the charity’s post marathon party in the Radisson Blu Hotel near The Mall ( where the Massey mob joined us for food and drinks). There I handed over a £9,000 cheque to the Brain and Spine Foundation for the money that Team Phillips( Jenna, Kelvin and me) had raised. Huge thanks both. Then the train back to the Clarendon at Blackheath and the coach back to Coventry for a 1000hrs arrival.

Roll on next year. London gets better as I get slower.

Massey time:

Dave Phillips: 6hrs 2 mins.