Volunteering at the London Marathon

First of all, congratulations to everyone finishing the London Marathon.

As a road marshal for the London Fire Brigade I had the privilege of seeing everyone run by twice. We were stationed in Shadwell around miles 13.5/21.5.

Volunteering at the London Marathon

We saw the elite runners race by and then pretty much all levels of other runners: club runners, recreational runners, charity runners, world-record-breaking runners, walkers. We were stationed at our post until way after the sweep crew came by. Still there were more walkers – at this point they had to continue their journey on the pavement.

One lady asked me if she would still get a medal when she reaches the finish line after the cut-off. I couldn’t answer that, but i sure hope she got one!

It was an awesome experience. Being a road marshal wasn’t too much hard work: making sure spectators crossed the course only at crossing points and directing them to them and keeping the course free of spectators. Other than a couple of drunk men at 10am, we had only respectful spectators to report. Everyone was more than understanding that the safety of the runners on the course was most important.

One of the perks of being a volunteer is that you see all runners on the course really close.

The first to come through were the wheelchair racers.

London Marathon - wheelchair racers

The women’s elite runners were next. I don’t have the photo here, but even some of the elite runners pick up Lucozade gels at the London Marathon. I thought they would not touch anything other than what they get/positioned at the elite runners’ drink station.

Mary Keitany on the right won the race and became the third fastest women marathoners of all times.

The men elite runners started right in front of the mass start.

Wilson Kipsang - winner of the London Marathon

Apparently the male runners reshuffled the men’s lead in the miles after they passed me.

Then, finally came all other 37,000 runners or so. Can you imagine running in this super-sized costume for 26.2 miles?

London Marathon - lots of great costumes

Or running as a giraffe (?) for 16.2 miles?

London Marathon - a giraffe

I really liked these London landmarks, Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Gherkin. What a great idea and spirit to run 26.2 miles in these costumes.

London Marathon - Big Ben, St Paul's Cathedral, The Gherkin

There were also people attempting world records – and I don’t mean running the marathon in the fastest possible time.

  • fastest marathon run in a bridal dress
  • fastest marathon run on stilts
  • fastest marathon while hula -hooping

I am sure there were others. We saw people running barefoot, dressed as fruit, all types of super heroes and many more.

Attempting world records: fastest marathon on stilts and marathon with the tallest costume: Blackpool Tower

Great accomplishments by all participants not only for running but for fundraising for their chosen charity.

As a volunteer I had a great time and will be back next year either running or volunteering. We even got a medal for volunteering which was a nice touch.

London Marathon - a medal for volunteering.

It takes around 6,000 volunteers to set up an event like the London Marathon. I think a big cheer for all volunteers is in order, too. 🙂



~ by tatjana on April 23, 2012.

12 Responses to “Volunteering at the London Marathon”

  1. Wow – great photos! Also awesome work volunteering, I ran on Sunday and I must say I was impressed by how supportive all the volunteers were!

  2. It was a fun race! I admire the commitment of all the runners, especially the ones who keep going and going even though they know all the glory is gone. It is a wonderful personal achievement.

  3. Wow, you got some great pics…..but you missed me, lol. You might have seen me flying at 13.5 (on course for a 3:08 finish) and then dying at 21.5 after getting injured! 😦

    I ended up hobbling almost 8 miles in agony and missed out on getting my target time which I was gutted about BUT I was just glad to finish after getting injured.

    Other than the injury, it was a great event and I really enjoyed it up to the injury. I was high 5’ing the crowds, laughing and smiling with all the friendly banter and generally having a ball. Such a shame it ended badly and turned into a rollercoaster of emotions. I’m glad it’s over!

    • Sorry to hear about you getting injured. I was so looking out for me. Even hobbling you must have been too fast for me to spot. You did it though! And finished despite injury! That’s a great achievement and it sounds like you had a great time anyway! Well done! Another race some time? 🙂

      • It was awesome up to the injury but once I pulled my calf, the pain took over and I couldn’t take in all the fun stuff any more 😦

        There will be no more races for me I’m afraid. I only had one that i wanted to do and now I’ve done it, that’s me retired, lol.

  4. Well done! The pics are great, I love the costumes and you got a volunteer medal!!!

  5. Thank you for sharing! Great pictures too. You should email them to Jill. Check out bestracecostumes.wordpress.com.

  6. I swear if it wasn’t for the volunteers I wouldn’t have got round, I know what it’s like to volunteer at a sports event after doing the London Triathlon as a steward a few years running.

    It was great to see lits of young volunteers too, and It made me proud to be a Londoner.

    The London Marathon is so much more than thousands of people running 26.2 miles. It captures the true spirit of the human species

    I finished in 5.50 and loved every minute of it

    Check out my blog http://www.fattymustrun.wordpress.com for a mile by mile description of my first ever marathon

  7. Awesome job. Very nice of you to volunteer

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