Sport Writer Alex Lancaster-Lennox discusses his day at the 2022 London Marathon, reviewing his experience of completing the prestigious event
It is not every day that a student (who before the pandemic could barely run 5km) and Amos Kipruto are able to compete in the same race; but on the 2nd October 2022 this became a reality.
The 42nd London Marathon, also the third and final to be held in October, was a day full of new records, new challenges, and new inspirational stories.
I was lucky enough to be one of the 40,927 runners that took part in this year’s marathon. Equally as painful as it was enjoyable, it was an experience like no other. It is a day when you can see the strength of human spirit as people from all corners of the UK and the World come together to test themselves and raise as much money as possible. Although no figure has been released since the event, previous years have shown that the London Marathon normally raises more than £60m for charity.
From a professional sport perspective, Kenya’s Amos Kipruto and Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw both won their first London Marathon titles. Yehualaw made her debut for this distance only six months ago and now at only 23 years old has become the youngest ever London Marathon champion. With an exceptional time of two hours and 17 minutes and 26 seconds, it makes her the 3rd fastest woman in this event’s history. Kipruto, who also had an exceptional race, made an excellent final break with five kilometres to go, allowing him to comfortably take the victory in two hours, four minutes, and 39 seconds. His compatriot Eliud Kipchoge, who won the Berlin Marathon only a week before, breaking his World Record in the process, was not present at the event in London.
It was not a bad day at the office for the British athletes either, with Rose Harvey coming 10th in the women’s race and Weynay Ghebresilasie and Phil Sesemann finishing 9th and 10th for the men. David Weir also produced a great performance coming third in his event.
Sticking to the usual route, runners started in Greenwich Park, heading through Woolwich, back to the Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich, along to the halfway point Tower Bridge, around Canary Wharf to Rainbow Row and a final ‘sprint’ through the City of London to end up on The Mall. It is a route that showcases the beauty of the capital, testing the runners’ abilities to cope with hills, winding courses, and mental fortitude when the crowds are not there to cheer them on.
Many reading this know someone who has completed the London Marathon, however, it certainly doesn’t appeal to everyone. After deciding you want to take on the gruelling challenge, the hardest part is being chosen. Of the 350,000 who apply on the ballot, only 17,000-20,000 are allocated a place. The rest of the participants are from the hotly contested charity places in which you must raise a minimum amount to race for your charity.
As someone who has now completed it, I could not recommend it enough. The challenge is real, but the reward is unimaginable. Run it, walk it, dress as spider-man, run with a fridge on your back if you wish. The spirit of the participants and the spectators make it an unforgettable day for all those involved.
The question is: will you lace up your shoes and give it a go?
Check out the latest Sport articles here: