Supporters also turned out in record numbers – an estimated 700,000 – with the sunshine and showing support for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings the two main reasons people gave for attending. Runners, organisers, Londoners and visitors didn’t let last week’s attack at the Boston Marathon deter them from taking part in one of the capital’s biggest events.
At the start of the race, runners observed a 30-second silence in honour of those killed and injured in the Boston explosions a week ago, and many wore the black ribbons organised by the Virgin London Marathon to show their support and sympathy. But apart from showing respect, all involved carried out the day’s events in exactly the same manner as they would have before the bombings.
The word “nervous” was the most uttered at the pre-race breakfast for Help the Hospices runners, but it wasn’t out of any fear associated with the recent bombings, it was simply natural and justifiable pre-race nerves. Even those who have run the marathon before were thankful to have others to swap training stories and injury niggles with, and to chat about their anticipation for the 26.2 miles that were to come.
The national hospice care charity had 175 runners in yesterday’s event, with local hospices also having hundreds more people representing and fundraising for them. They all proudly wore their vests and responded to the cheers coming from supporters lining the route with smiles, waves and high fives.
After training through long, cold winter months, London turned on the sunshine for race-day, for which all the runners we spoke with were extremely thankful for. Although some of the participants dressed in large and hot fancy dress costumes, such as the Bagpuss running for Hospices of Hope, may not have been enjoying the warm weather quite as much.
Whether people were dressed in a mankini, a fancy dress outfit or just their charity running vest, each participant ran for their own reasons and with their own personal goals. Some were trying to achieve a certain time, while others were happy just to get around the course. But every runner, and every supporter cheering them on, did London/the UK, as well as Boston, proud with their efforts.
Keep your eye on the featured gallery on ehospice as photos from the day will be published soon.