Last week I chatted away about a few of the reasons why I was unsure if I would ever run the London marathon, for a read as to my reasons check it here. But today I want to deviate a tad from last weeks post as I considered the fact that maybe I was being a bit unfair to the race and to the people who run the race. So I asked a few lovely people why they want or run London and what makes them want to run it again and here are some of their reasons. Enjoy!
It is one big party
The main getaway I can take from my question was that the majority of people commented on the atmosphere aspect of the race and even pre-race (at the expo). It just feels like it is something else and that you are doing something important. I actually like that answer as one thing I could see from the race was that people were enjoying it and with so many people, I would only assume that there would be a great atmosphere amongst the runners.
Add in the fact that there are so many spectators around the course and not just at the beginning and end of the race I could see why people were enthused to run it as any periods in which they had any doubt and found themselves getting close to hitting that wall, they would have the crowd and even fellow runners support them through it and it would keep them going. Hard to argue with a point about the race being one big positive really isn’t it!?
Let’s face it, if you are from the UK or Ireland, everyone knows the London marathon gets a crazy amount of media coverage. There is a reason why 440,000 + people applied to run it in the ballot. You first heard of marathon running probably from the London marathon if you are from this neck of the world. If you are not from UK and Ireland then you might still have an interest in the race.
I am glad that TV/websites are beginning to show other large races around the UK however. It helps build the notoriety of those races and I actually think if they did it for races near the date of London then maybe that would ease the demand for people as they know they can participate that race instead.
But yes, knowing you are running in the marathon and that you may get caught on camera or even get asked to be interviewed is one of the reasons people participate. Not to be cynical, but there are reasons other than raising money for charity why people dress in costumes to run a swelteringly hot marathon.
Running past famous sites
Like New York, Paris etc, a lot of people will want to run London to run past all of the landmarks. What other time can you run down the Mall or run past some famous landmarks without cars and tourists and pedestrians barging into you? To get so many locations prepared as your own road to run along is a great thing and I can attest to that from some of the races I have been in, where I have gone past famous buildings or beautiful areas. You probably don’t fully take it in until after the race where you realise that yes, you really did just run there and past here and here.
Everyone has heard of it
I laughed at this one as I could relate to this a lot. One person said, “what one has your mum heard of?” It really is true, if you are saying that you are running in a marathon, you are most likely going to be asked if it is London. You quietly have to explain that no it isn’t its (enter a local marathon here for you). It isn’t a bad thing, but it is funny and this is probably exacerbated if you are in the Mainland UK, whereas here in Northern Ireland we just get asked if it is Belfast or Dublin. Though I have been asked when I am going to run London. As if the other 14 or so marathons I have run where not important as they weren’t at this world famous race.
Buzz of the local major
In Europe we don’t have many of the 6 “majors” so getting to run in London is usually oe of the first steps in knocking off the 6. If you are a keen runner and marathon runner, this is definitely the overall aim. To somehow get your butt all the way around the world and complete all 6 races and have that special medal.
The locality of the race was a big push for people to want to run as it is actually fairly cheap if you get in good for age or in the Ballot, the price only becomes a bit unseemly if it is charity related. So other than this and Berlin, you only have two races in Europe to try and get a foothold into the major races. As after that, it becomes a mighty expensive endeavour. Although I did state how expensive London would cost me if I were to go unless I got clever with my spending.
Anyway, that was some reasons TO run the London Marathon from people who have run it and surprisingly from me I noticed no one mentioned raising money for charity. This could be that the group I asked this question are regular runners and may have been in the same position as me where it might be hard to garner interest for fundraising if this is your 5 marathon this year!
Next week I will provide a few options of other races to attend instead of the London Marathon if you didn’t get in or if you fancy a marathon around the same time. Until next time!