VLM 2018 - Paul Baskeyfield

Paul’s London Marathon Report 2018

Training in the ice, snow, sleet etc. had gone well with no injuries, and things were looking good with a pb & 3rd age group prize at Ironbridge Half. Then things (specifically the weather) changed. What followed an obsession with forecasts, which predicted London temperatures of 21-23 C+ - they were correct unfortunately. Having completed Shrewsbury half in similar temperatures last summer, I would cope wouldn’t I??!

The sun was already beating down at 8.30am as I arrived in Blackheath & not a cloud in sight. You know for certain it is warm when even the spectators & staff are already in shorts & T shirts. However there was a job to be done & that job was representing Ludlow Runners in 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon.

Finally got moving at 10:15 after waiting in the pen for 30 minutes. No pb today and had dropped down a pen for that reason. Pace would be realistic and main aim was to finish – unlike my last marathon (don’t ask!). Had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as we passed the start stand & the cheering hit us from huge crowds – this was it, my first and hopefully not last, London Marathon! 

Really enjoyed the first few miles past Cutty Sark, but was being extra careful to keep my pace down.  However, the heat was slowly taking its toll, and the first walkers appeared before we’d even reached Tower Bridge, and from then on it became harder and harder to maintain any sort of speed.  A thankful addition & worth a diversion were the fire stations and their hoses, although not good to get too close!  I didn’t experience any water stations actually running out, but was very thankful for them & took a bottle at every mile, even though most of it went on my head & in my cap.  One had to be careful when passing the Lucozade sport as the wastefully large bottles were being emptied across the road with resulting sticky, slippery coating– instructions were to empty water bottles to aid recycling, but Lucozade??!  Would my shoe soles survive even if I did?  In the end, it seemed as hot as hell, but with cheering sinners. I must admit I was struggling in the heat & ended up walking for short stretches, but did manage to run/jog most of the last few miles & even managed to attach Colin’s imaginary Helium balloon up the Mall and across those wonderful mats. I saw an awful lot of collapsed runners, & St John’s Ambulance seemed overwhelmed in what turned out to be the hottest London Marathon on record.  I finished in 4 hours and 20 minutes and 1 second – over 23 minutes slower than my pb.

Did I enjoy it?  Yes, however, let’s hope for cooler weather next year!  Thank you for your support, advice, tips, & sponsorship*. A special thankyou to Ludlow Runners for giving me the chance to run. Good luck to everyone who has entered the ballot for 2019, & yes I have too!

*I also raised £437 for CLIC Sargent children’s cancer care too!



Published: 6th May 2018

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