London Marathon 2024

Here is Stuart’s full race report:

‘Where do I start what a weekend and such an amazing event.

Thank you RntS for having this opportunity.

The dream marathon for me after being rejected for 5 years. This bucket list race has always inspired me to run to the best of my abilities.

Training never went as smoothly as I had hoped, some missed speed work and long runs, due to a calf twinge but it was too good a race to miss. So stepped back the training to recover and then get back to it.

I decided to follow the Hanson marathon method that had served me so well for Brighton 2022, and I ideally wanted a time between 3:30 and 3;45 to get a new PB as Brighton was 3:49. But under 4 hours was good enough in my mind.

Friday 19th was race pack pick up day, I took my eldest daughter with me on the train for the day and headed to the excel arena.

A really slick operation for bib collection I was dreading massive queues but it wasn’t bad at all. They now print your bib when you arrive and then send you into the expo to collect the finisher shirt before you race.

We headed back to London for the weekend on the Saturday and did the touristy sight seeing walking around 10 miles to keep the legs loose and nervous energy at bay.

Race day Sunday 21st…

Usual morning routine with the added tube and train journey. All public transport on race day is free to participants making everything super smooth and easy to get to the start pens.

I had a 10:10 green wave 4 start time and had to be at the start by 9:22 for security checks and the obligatory endurance events of queuing to use the portaloos or urinals.

We could watch the start of the elite and wheelchair races on the big screen and the atmosphere was electric, everyone was wishing each other luck and conversations flowed around trainer choices etc (as they do at every race we attend 😂)

Going into my own wave, my actual start time 10:16 and we were off, from the first second the crowds were absolutely amazing offers of jelly babies, oranges bananas and Haribo every few meters.

The first 3km I felt amazing and then the urge to pee kicked in so the next block of toilets was my destination, luckily in the marathon they make sure there are many at regular intervals.

Back to running and again the crowds were epic, live bands, DJs and local community groups entertaining as we ran (no need for headphones, not that you would hear your own music if you decide to use them).

The first big milestone for me was the Cutty Sark and it never disappointed, it was incredible sweeping round the bend past this beautiful piece of history,

Around the 12 mile mark I turned the corner and there she was Tower Bridge ,just wow!

A real pick me up at this point and one of the most incredible experiences of my life running across this true icon of Britain this made the running experience.

It started to get really tough around the 17 mile marker and I had my nutrition and hydration on point a gel every 4 to 4.5 miles and always taking on some water at every station, little and often for the whole race.

My Polar GPS was going crazy at times with the high rise building and the few under passes we utilised.

The crowds continued to be totally amazing.

The last few miles were tough and it became a mental challenge as much as physical. The last straight approached and then it happened my biggest and most needed pick me up – my cheer squad were there and grabbed my attention turned the corner saw the Buckingham palace and then the finish line.

A new marathon PB of 3:39:29 and I couldn’t be happier. ‘