The junior play area at Walton Park had recently reopened - according to the man in the 'latte' barge. She likes the swings.
Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
Friday, 8 October 2021
Thursday, 7 October 2021
Wednesday, 6 October 2021
Sue and I travelled down to London on Friday 1 October, taking five hours including breaks for the 206 mile journey. Whilst the carriageway going north was closed in a couple of places due to a breakdown and a rather dramatic vehicle fire, the only queue we encountered was right at the end of the journey, thanks probably to people wanting to fill their cars with petrol - a rare commodity in London. Wisely, we had filled up before setting off from Manchester.
Once installed in the Ibis Budget Hotel in Barking (£216 for three nights' B&B), we set off for the ExCel centre on the tube. Getting a 'ticket' was a new experience - you just have to touch in with your debit card, and touch out at your final destination. About half an hour's journey each way cost £3.20, though I didn't discover that until I got home and looked at my bank transactions.
We had both taken Covid lateral flow tests earlier in the day, and were required to show the NHS app's confirmation on our phones of a negative test before entering the centre, and on numerous other occasions during the course of the weekend. The London Marathon registration email that I'd printed off was also needed from time to time, as well as photo ID.
I hobbled through the massive centre to the hall where kitbags with any clothes you wanted at the end of the marathon had to be handed in. These had been sent by post to all runners, but mine hadn't arrived. A spare bag was soon found and my kitbag was left to have medals, t-shirt and some drinks inserted in it before being taken to the end to a location that would be indicated on my bib.
Next, bib collection in a different hall. There were lots of registration desks, with some for 'Good for Age' runners who receive two bibs (and thereby two timing chips) for the two events in which they are enrolled. I duly collected both my bibs - no safety pins provided, I'd brought my own - and we had a quick wander around the Running Show before getting the tube back from the Prince Regent (Docklands Light Railway) station to Barking.
At the start, a deluge of faster runners from Wave 2 stormed past. I found the wide elephant very useful for a while, and I trotted along in his slipstream, with the overtaking runners needing to keep a wide berth.
Tuesday, 5 October 2021
Monday, 4 October 2021
My quest for a random photo produced this memory of 'The Line to Nowhere' from the Dolomites on 14 July 2007. 'Nowhere' must have been down in the valley. Down amongst the dead men?
Sunday, 3 October 2021
Here I am after finishing the race in 5 hours, 45 minutes, coming 133rd out of about 160 finishers in my 70-74 age group. I'd have been a bit quicker if I hadn't started with a somewhat debilitating foot injury. Anyway, that means the muscles weren't unduly extended, though they will probably benefit from a bit of a rest while the foot recovers from whatever is wrong with it. Expect some reports of bike rides.
Thank you for the contributions to my fundraising efforts. I'm delighted to announce that earlier today the £2500 target was achieved, though further donations will of course be welcome.
I'll do a fuller report next week.