Nearly 100 Team Tangerine runners, resplendent in our bright orange tops, battled the blustery conditions on the day and the general view seemed to be that it was a tough but hugely enjoyable and rewarding run.
Here’s what a few of our runners and supporters told us at the finish…
Our fastest runner, Nick Venner, was racing in memory of his daughter Charlotte who passed away in 2006 aged 18 months. Cambridge-based Nick recorded an amazing time of 2:57 – a personal best by around eight or nine minutes.
“I was hopeful that I would get a good time, but you never know with marathons, you never know until you finish,” he told us at our special Meningitis Now reception after the race.
“I was very keen to run under three hours and did a lot of training, to me it wouldn’t be a challenge if the time wasn’t relevant."
Cheering and waving
“But it’s an amazing experience, the entire 26.2 miles is full of people cheering and waving."
“My biggest piece pf advice is have your name on your vest so people shout your name the whole way round. It’s like a big party or a carnival the whole way.”
Andrew Higgins, who finished in just under four hours, said it was his third marathon. “I’m really chuffed because I got a PB,” he said.
“I loved it, there was a great atmosphere. Even just walking up into Greenwich Park this morning was amazing, there was so much support everywhere and the Meningitis Now people were fantastic.”
Andrew, from Cannock in the West Midlands, said he had been allotted a lucky ballot place for the marathon and had contacted Meningitis Now because his daughter Isla had had meningitis a couple of years ago. Luckily Isla made a full recovery. So how was he going to celebrate?
“I’m going to fetch my children later but I’m certainly going to have a pint” he said. “I haven’t had a drink for about four weeks!”
Proud and pleased
Jake Turner from Nottingham was in London not to run himself but to cheer wife Lara on. Lara achieved a brilliant 3:44 time – which, according to Jake, was well under the time she had hoped for.
“I was very proud of her, very pleased,” he said. “The atmosphere out there was fantastic”. So fantastic in fact that it’s motivating Jake to think about doing the marathon himself next year. Could he beat his wife’s time though? “No chance!” he said.
Steve and Onor Crummay made a fantastic double act, running together the whole way and crossing the finishing line in tandem. Onor, who lives in London, had meningitis ten years ago and has been a brilliant ambassador for Meningitis Now ever since – raising both money and awareness with equal gusto.
“We ran together to commemorate ten years of me surviving meningitis when dad was really important in saving my life, so it was really emotional and very symbolic,” Onor told us.
Cornwall-based Steve’s PB time is about an hour quicker than Onor’s so for him the biggest challenge was running slower than he was used to. But they both agreed the crowds had really cheered them on.
“I would say to anyone thinking of doing it is just come and do it because it’s an amazing thing,” said Steve.
“Don’t worry about how fast you’re running - sometimes we slowed right down just to enjoy the crowd."
“It’s more about the experience than running a fast time.”
My heart rate soared
And Onor added, “You get to see humans and London at its best."
“I found it very moving - every time they said “come on Onor and Steve” my heart rate soared."
“It is truly remarkable how genuine everyone is and how much people are willing you over that winning line.”
Thank you one and all for your support.
More good news
Now, here’s some more really good news…
If you were inspired, either by the television coverage or through attending on the day, and think ‘I could do that’; well, you can.
The application process for our charity places in the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon is now officially open! The event takes place on Sunday 26 April, so get the date in your diary now. The registration fee is £100 and there’s a £2,000 fundraising pledge.
Our event manager, Kirsty Hayward-Owen, said, “Our charity places are limited and the event is so popular that each year we receive many more applications than there are spaces available."
“We award people places on the strength of their applications, so we ask for detailed information on why you want to run for Meningitis Now and your plans to reach the fundraising target."
“If it’s for you we’d love to hear from you so please get in touch.”
Interested? Find out more and apply for a place on our Virgin Money London Marathon 2020 page.