After a week of intense winter weather including rain, high winds, and even hail, the clouds parted for just one day. Thankfully, it happened to be the one day when 24 of us, having raised nearly $300,000 for charity, took on the London marathon!
We were up at dawn to catch our bus through the city's deserted streets en route to the start line, where we were pleased to find over 200 toilets, snacks, water, and pumping pop music to get us ready and excited for the run. Our two hours in the holding cell flew by and before we knew it, we were standing shoulder to shoulder amongst our fellow 37,000 runners. The horn sounded and we were off! It was only a matter of minutes before the throngs of runners broke up enough to have some ample space to run properly. With that freedom, it was "go time!" I can't speak for everyone but for me at least, the noise, enthusiasm, and kindness of the crowds made the entire thing feel like a 42km outdoor party!
At 26km we found a very enthusiastic cheer squad hooting and hollering just before heading onto and over the Tower Bridge. From there it was deep into the Isle of Dogs before swinging back into the heart of London, along Embankment and past our cheer squad toward Big Ben and Parliament. From there we banked right, followed Birdcage Walk along St James' Park, banked in front of Buckingham Palace and zoomed straight down Pall Mall across the finish line, Union Jack flags flapping away in front of us.
It was a day that is not adequately describable in words. To say that it was a "life highlight" is a gross understatement, something on which I believe the whole team would agree with me. Well done to all of our incredible runners and special thanks to all of the charities involved for working with Inspired Adventures to give us this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!