The London marathon was an amazing event. Just under 40,000 people ran, jogged, walked and wheeled through the course. It was brilliant to see the blind, the amputee, the public and the athletes running the same course. I enjoyed capturing the day through photography.
The London marathon course is 26.2 miles long. A according to the legend, a Greek man called Pheidippides ran about 25 miles to tell his country news about defeating the Persians in 490 B.C and from this event the Marathon has been repeated ever since. Countries all compete in this endurance and for London the crowds always show up.
The race starts in The Royal Borough Of Greenwich and works its way around Southwark, Tower Hamlets, City of London and Westminster. The route is mainly flat and covers a variety of London landmarks including Tower Bridge, London Eye and Westminster.
The race involved all levels of ability. We saw the blind, those with wheelchairs, people who were missing limbs. Each division ran/wheeled quickly and devoured the track. The guide runners also did well to work with their allocated athletes hand in hand. These people did an amazing job and completed the course along with their counterparts in the other divisions.
I was able to capture a variety of images. Ranging from celebrities to outstanding members of the public. The atmosphere of the day was positive. It is really good to see a community united. London had people from every community out in numbers cheering on the crowd. One runner told me afterwards that the "noise of the crowd gave him the energy to keep going". Another runner told me that London had the best crowd in the world to run with.
The day was moderately hot, and for others a little too hot. April 23rd was the hottest London Marathon on record. The athletes had a tough time due to the dehydration of themselves and recovering from the exertion. The majority athletes and crowds made it through the day with a few unfortunate incidents.
The Ice-cream vans were definitely in business. The crowds tarried in the heat comforted by the slight breeze of athletes and vehicles as they sped by. Both young and old came out in numbers. They stood patiently in anticipation waiting for each athlete to pass. The sound of cheering proceeded each athlete. The sweat dripped down the faces of the runners, the pain was almost tangible.
My thoughts are with all those courageous runners with touching stories that inspired them to run the race. I met people who stated family members were running to raise funds for the hospitals they attended, or to raise awareness for loved ones. It was really touching how so many people used the run as an opportunity to help. The medal to them not only showed a physical accomplishment but a charitable achievement. More-so capturing the event in photography means much more to the participants. It gave them a story to remember.
The winner of the London Marathon was Eluid Dibaba in 2:04:17 from Kenya. Second was Kitata and third was Sir Mo Farah. The ladies winner was Vivian Cheruiyot who ran it in 2:18:31 and the wheelchair user completed it in 1:31:15 his name was David Weir. Here are some of the moments I was able to capture in my few moments outside my official role.
I was officially shooting for a Charity called Scope. Scope had 117 runners taking to the road in aid of raising funds and awareness. I was briefed that they were training for months on end, in the snow, rain and wind. It was essential that I captured a photographic memento for them to remember the day by. The runners hard efforts have insured that they’ll raise in excess of £278,000, supporting disabled people and their families all across England and Wales. That alone is amazing! To them I say congratulations and thank you!
This may seem silly of me, but I really had no clue the work that went on behind the scenes. The administration of charities to have people cheer at strategic points, the representatives to guide the way back to the reception for the participants. The logging of those who competed. Also the hiring of a venue to enable runners to be able to recover safely. The recruitment and deployment of volunteers to set roles. The list truly can go on and on........ Well done.
Another area I was unaware of was the sports massage. Trained professionals and students were hands on and efficiently serviced the runners with deep tissue massages to help their bodies recovery after a gruelling run. They did it well, client after client with a smile on their faces. The organisers were not keen on me snapping this, however the therapists and runners did not mind at all so I got some great shots.
A Few Facts About Scope
Scope support young adults who have a range of pathologies some of which are learning disabilities, visual impairment and cerebral palsy.
The support they can provide are information and advice, respite, employment, supported living and residential homes.
Scope work with local authorities and also campaign for legislation change. They are always looking for volunteers so if you would like to help please let them know.
They provide a help line in normal office hours and can be contactable on 0808 800 3333 so if you need support please call.
The London Marathon was a great event. Thousands of the people showed up in solidarity. The community came together and pulled off a great event. I had fun and enjoyed cheering the athletes along. I enjoyed the challenges of capturing the day well. I also enjoyed meeting the people at Scope and wish them well. If you can please support their events.
Thank you for going through my blog. I will see you again next week where I aim share another part of my photography journey.
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