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.
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.
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.
The men elite runners started right in front of the mass start.
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?
Or running as a giraffe (?) for 16.2 miles?
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂