baRUNNER - a website for the British Airways Athletics Club
2020 London Virtual Marathon Runners Stories
The 2020 London Marathon had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. An event was held on the 4th October 2020 though this was an elite only race and a parallel virtual event. Many members of the British Airways Athletics Club who had been originally entered for the April date chose to enter the virtual event and here are some of the stories from some of them (either as directly told to Steve Hillier or stolen from Facebook).
Thanks to an amazing support crew and different runners joining me for 13 laps of a 2-mile river loop, today’s virtual VLM was very enjoyable! The weather today (Monday) is ideal but... we can’t change the past :-). I had a fabulous run with so much support, despite the rain!
I felt it was hard going particularly the second half as it seemed to get wetter and colder...part of the problem was managing nutrition had to force myself to eat along the way otherwise my body would have shut down completely.
Well I have probably broken the record for the slowest marathon on record but for me it was more about completing the distance than putting in a decent time. However, that being said I had a couple of friends running with me so it was not all dictated by me...given the day it was my fiends wanted a cafe stop b4 the final furlong which ate into my elapsed time needlessly; many thanks to Harjit Jhooti and Mirella Genziani for keeping me on my toes even if I did ‘power walk’ the second half...a wonderful shared experience running the marathon with everyone else and it being virtual meant I wasn’t up against the ‘strict’ marathon clock...lessons to be leant from this...well done everyone.
We loved it ... apart from the weather! Took full advantage of having 24
hours to complete it. Did 18 miles in the morning and then went back home for
lunch and 2 hours of Star Wars! Went back out at 4pm to conquer the last 8
Get rested everyone! Well done! Here’s looking forward to next year!
SJ and David Roberts
It went well for Frankie and me. We abandoned our original plan to run point-to-point along the Kennet and Avon canal and instead amalgamated a few of our usual runs around Reading. We went out a touch too quick, but still conservatively enough so that we ran the second half only about 3 minutes slower than the first. We had been used to training in the heat of the summer, so we thought we would crash and burn in the second half, but I think the cool damp stuff did us many favours. Interestingly, we had 4 different chronometers on the job (each had Strava on our Garmins, plus each had the LM app), and, although we ran step for step together the whole way, the distance was up at variously 3-47 (App), 3-49 (App), 3-51 (Garmin) and 3-52 (Garmin). Sadly we had to keep going until the last one ticked over, which was a touch agonising. Herewith some photos of a few important milestones.
Looking forward already to the real thing in October 21.
Murray and Frankie Hogge
It went well for me, thanks. Stuck to my plan of doing the majority of the distance in the surrounding heathland before coming down the Basingstoke canal and finishing up the last 10k near where I live, where I got great support from the passing cars and people - which boosted me on no end!
The bad weather, coupled with the trail based route I chose, did mean I was forced to frequently zigzag and navigate around large flood patches, which I didn't dare run through as the terrain was very uneven in places and I didn't want to potentially roll a submerged ankle.
I did cramp up towards the end, which forced me to run / walk a bit, but I was more than happy to finish the last couple of miles a little more leisurely.
I had a fabulous time on the VMLM today. I had company which definitely helped. My slowest marathon for some time but glad to have finished. I took a lovely friendly route over 16 bridges from Hammersmith to Tower Bridge and back - lots of support from other runners and beeping car horns made it feel special. The official app did not work well and recorded just 13 miles (worked well for the other 2). Frustratingly my watch recorded half a km less than the others so had to keep running for a while (cruel). Elapsed time 5:13.
This weekends activity was the virtual London marathon. It was a wet one and cold and windy but having others run with me and some local support made it an easier run than it could otherwise have been. I finished in 4:43 but wasn't pushing for a time or click watching. I think I've finally warmed up again now. Well done to everyone who ran it today.
My weekend activity - the Virtual London Marathon. Decided to run laps of my local park - Lammas. One lap is almost exactly one mile. Also ended up doing a few laps of Walpole Park when I got bored with Lammas. As I have done virtually no training and still have a bad groin strain I decided on a 50/50 jog/walk strategy. Worked quite well and I felt more comfortable than last week when I did the Virtual Ealing Half Marathon and tried to jog the whole way round. Took 3 water bottles with me and hid them in some bushes with a pot of vaseline for use during the run. Obviously not very well hidden as after about 5 laps they had gone! Someone must have decided I was littering and cleared them away! Finished in 6:41:59 according to my Garmin but the official app was measuring short and I had to do another mile before it clocked up the 26.2 in 6:56:26.
And here's my story - I started with Maria but got left behind after about half way. I blame it on lack of training and the weather... In my case, though, the app showed I'd finished before my watch, so I had to run some extra to get the Garmin up to the marathon distance as well.
What a great day, especially after I accepted the weather condition were
going to be far from perfect! I managed just under 5 hrs sleep with rain driving
against the bedroom window, was wide awake at 5:15am, so had breakfast & headed
to Bushy Park for a 7:00am start. By 9:30am there were probably 100 runners
doing various routes around the park, with support stations popping up to help
the runners of all standards
Virtual London Marathon done and dusted in 3:45:26. It wasn’t my fastest marathon, it wasn’t my slowest but it certainly was the wettest I’ve ever ran. App made me run an extra 3 min to cover the whole distance.
Mission accomplished and it’s great to be home & dry. Thanks to my running buddy Guilaine Sheward we achieved what we set out to do. Having run the hottest London Marathon on record I can now add the wettest to the collection. The heavens opened and the rain never stopped but we didn’t allow that to dampen our spirits. With less than 6 weeks training I am happy with how the run went today. It was great to have our friends come and support us. Thanks to Annette, Alexandra Foster, Helen Clifton, Danijela Spasojevic, Faithe Cockroft and Nikki Crawford. It was great to also see David, and John & Carol Paton en route. Thanks to our families for their amazing support too!