Sunday 5 August 2012

Women's Olympic Marathon!

This morning I made it up to London to see my first bit of live Olympics! I caught a 7am train to get there for 9am, which was probably too early with hindsight. It was a lovely sunny morning though, so I had coffee and did some sightseeing.

Could have had a bit more time in bed...

St Paul's Cathedral on the route
 I found a good spot just before 10am, and sat down with a magazine to wait. Gradually the clouds got darker and thicker, and at about 10.45am, the heavens opened. It absolutely bucketed down, but I was stoic, and refused to leave my spot.

Getting soaked
Just when we thought the rain couldn't get any worse, it got worse. It was torrential for a while, and my jeans and bag got soaked. In fact I had a wet backside all day, even on the train home, which was not the most comfortable way to sit down.

Eventually, at about 11.30am, the leaders of the pack appeared!

Front runners

They whizzed past, and it wasn't easy to see through the still-quite-heavy-rain. I just about managed to pick out the two remaining British runners.

Claire Hallissey (GB) 2nd from right
As soon as they had gone, I gave in, and went under a roof for shelter. After a while, the rain turned to drizzle, and later it cleared up altogether and the sun came out again. I never really dried out though...

Before the second lap, I changed position, and for this and the third and final lap, I was so close to the runners! I could have high fived them, if they'd been willing. I didn't try though.

The lead group is lead by Keitany (who finished 4th), then Gelana, Jeptoo, and Arkhipova, who took Gold, Silver and Bronze.

A little further on was American Kara Goucher, who finished 11th.

And later still came British Claire Hallissey, who finished 57th, behind Paula Radcliffe's last minute replacement Freya Murray who was 44th (and who I saw several times, but never managed to photograph, for some reason).

You might be able to hear me shout 'Come on Claire' as Hallissey goes past. If you pause the videos, you can see the runners much more clearly. I could have done with a much more expensive camera to get good shots of these fast runners!

By the time I left, the sun had come out again.

St Paul's again, with more crowds

It was great to see it up close, and I'm glad I went, although it wasn't a great event for Team GB! We are going again next Thursday, as Pete and I have tickets for women's basketball (GB are out of that too). Can't wait!


  1. That would have been so exciting. I watched every minute of it (minus ad breaks and crosses to other sports) and loved it. It blows me away that after running so far there can still be three runners so close together near the finish.
    Enjoy your Games. Your team has been going so well (grr)

    1. I was blown away by how close they were at the end too.

  2. That is so great that you made the trek up for the marathon. What a fantastic experience, even with the rain! Disappointed that both Paul & Desi had to sit out due to injuries.

  3. Soooo jealous that you were there! So so cool! I was up at 3a.m watching live from Oregon. :) Really great pics and videos.

  4. That's so cool that you got to be right there and watch! We recorded the 3 hour highlights for the day and they didn't even show it!?!
    Have fun at the next event.

    My Running Shortz

  5. Awesome! I would have gotten soaked as well for that! I watched the race on TV and enjoyed every moment. London has been incredible so far!

  6. Wow! What fun. We woke up early and watched it on TV. I had to watch it before I ran. I would have gotten wet too. One year when I watched the Boston Marathon I got the wettest I think I have ever been. Again and again and again.

  7. How exciting that you got to spectate the women's marathon - despite the rain I bet it was awesome! Have fun at the basketball!

  8. I am super jealous you got to see the woman's marathon - wow, I bet it was so exciting! It was on at 4am here in Denver but I had my triathlon to do that morning so I tapped it and watched it when I got home. So inspirational. So sad Paula had to bail this year...I hope she can get back to the sport she loves so much soon.

    Hope you're dried out by now - hahah. I guess that's typical England weather, but no fun for those watching!