The London Marathon


The biggest event of a runner’s year is coming up in less than a month, the 2012 Virgin London Marathon.

For the runners, they’ve been preparing ever since they found out they would be running this year’s marathon. Some may be doing it for the first time, while others will be seasoned pros. Many will be running for charities and in fancy dress, and a lot of the competitors will have been preparing for competing in shorter races prior.

Even if you aren’t a runner or competing, the energy and excitement of marathon day is infectious and many people after watching the marathon are interested in applying, even if you’ve never jogged before! Race day is a great day out and many families head out along the route to support someone they know running, or to just soak up the exciting atmosphere.

April showers are always a risk this time of year, so it’s worthwhile taking along a lightweight waterproof jacket in case of any sudden cloudbursts. Since most roads are closed for the marathon, public transport will be extra busy and some Tube and DLR stations may be closed at certain times.

You’ll be on your feet the whole day, so wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking and pack a lightweight backpack with water bottles for yourself and the kids. Since you may be stuck in a crowd for an extended period of time, you may also consider a travel pouch to keep your phone and camera safe whilst also keeping them easy to hand.

If the marathon has inspired you to take up running, start off with shorter distances and build up your stamina. Invest in a pair of lightweight running shoes and if you plan to train at dusk, a hi-viz jacket or vest is ideal to make sure you are visible to motorists and cyclists on the roads. You can also get outer layers that have reflective piping or stripes for enhanced visibility. Avoid running in regular cotton t-shirts, and look for high wicking, quick drying base layers and t-shirts that are also breathable to stop you feeling sweaty and damp on your run, and who knows, your new hobby could lead you to running in a future marathon.