Sunday 22nd April 2007
The Marathon Tao of Carolyn
We woke up to a very beautiful Marathon day, however soon discovered that by all previous Marathon standards, the heat would make today a "bit of a stinker" for all those particiapting.
Red Start: 09:30am - Carolyn's actual start time, 10:00bst.
Meeting point 1. Corner of Creek and Deptford Road: Mile 7
Russell, Carolyn's husband stood and waited to see her pass here, then he joined her.
Meeting point 2. Between mile 8-9 Surrey Quays station - 12:30
We were getting worried that Carolyn had sneaked off as the roads were being cleaned up and the barriers taken down, then they both appeared in the distance. It was already becoming obvious that her ambitions of finishing in 5.5 hours were not going to be realised today, the heat and the reality of the distance were taking their toll, but she wasn't stopping.
Meeting point 3. Mile 11. Rotherhite Station - 13:20
We gave up on our "supporters" schedule, walked across to Rotherhite and waited for them to appear.
Meeting point 4. Top of Wapping Lane Mile 12.
Missed them - As you can see by the final picture above, the cleanup was now in full swing, even the signs were being taken down, so it became tricky for Russell to accurately relay their position on the course.
Meeting point 5. Mile 16. City Pride heading into Isle of Dogs.
..and again, we were standing on the wrong side of the pub, so we had a pint and waited for them to come around.
Meeting point 6. Mile 18 City Pride coming out of Isle of Dogs: 16:00
Carolyn looked like giving up at this point, Natasha, Matthew and myself climbed over the barrier and joined her and Russell.
Mile 19.5 - Canary Wharf: 17:00
Food stop and picked up Joan, Carolyn's friend who also joined the entouage.
Mile 20.5 Commercial Road.
We now had to contend with no helpful marathon signs, open roads (see picture), closed roads (see below that) and then roads that may be open at any minute. Most of the navigation was done using a printed map and our knowledge of the area.
Mile 21.5 - The Highway.
Mile 22 - Royal Mint / Tower Hill: 17:00
We all noticably cheered up here, it wasn't that far to go.
Mile 23 - Cannon Street.
Rather than trudge along the road, which by now had cars on it we directed ourselves along the Thames path, past Blackfirairs and on to the Embankment, well if you are going to be last, you might as well have good scenary, we said.
Mile 25 - Parliment in sight, around Westminster: 18:30
Mile 26, 386 yards :19:06
This man followed us from Westminster, he is 82, was there on his own and has already completed the Marathon 7 times. The heat had caused him to fall over and so he had asked the gentleman with him, simply a passer by, to help support him so he could finish and therefore his charity donation could then be collected. They got to the finish just after us. Two young ladies, who had just got through 5 minutes before us, then run up and hugged him, happy that he had completed the day safe and well. We all stopped complaining about our various aliments at this point, as well we should have.