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Our London Marathon Weekend

Kathrine Switzer was in London to run the Virgin Money London Marathon for the first time this April. Our 261 Club Greenwich coaches were in town to support her and had a special treat from our global sponsors Adidas.

We had the most amazing time the weekend of the London Marathon! Starting just up the road from our club and covering roads we all know well, it‘s always an exciting event. Once we heard Kathrine was running, the levels of excitement skyrocketed and we got to plotting and planning a cheer route, happy to learn that we’d be joined by our fearless friends and Kathrine supporters from around the country.

The best news came when Juliet and I heard that, as coaches, we would be able to attend an event at the Adidas Studios in Brick Lane and meet and run with Kathrine on the Saturday before the marathon! The Adidas event was great. The Adidas runners were immediately warm and welcoming and the room was buzzing with excitement – I don’t think we’d ever smiled so much or seen so many smiles. It was great to be amongst so many diverse women all sharing a love of running. Kathrine mingled, happy to give everyone her time, hugs and photo opportunities and then inspired us all with her incredible story first hand. We then took to the streets of London around Tower Bridge en masse – 60 women runners at least – for a run, dodging bemused tourists who no doubt wondered what the occasion was. We loved meeting all the Adidas runners and left not only with the generous gift of running tops, but further opportunities to network and run together. We are really looking forward to meeting up with them and the whole day was such a positive reinforcement of the reasons we all love to run. From slow to fast, 5km to marathon, it just doesn’t matter as long as you’re out there doing it.

An early start on Sunday morning saw us getting up to Blackheath and the chance to see Kathrine start the elite women off.  All wearing our 261 kit, we felt fearless and managed to wangle our way to the start line just as the men were warming up and getting ready to go. Lining up right at the front of the stand we were beaming, laughing and dancing – this turned to hysterics when everyone started to get phone messages telling us we were on TV! Mum dancing aside, the row of purple t-shirts on the screen in front of us made us all so proud to be part of this movement! 

From there we were joined by Jo Earlam, of the Women Can marathon in Devon, and journalist Esther Austin as we manoeuvred our way through the crowds to see Kathrine a further four times along the route. Did we say that our excitement levels were high? Spectating at the marathon comes with no guarantees at the best of times so to have hit each of our spots in good time to catch Kathrine made us all feel amazing– military precision or luck, it just all worked. 

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