The 3rd October is a very special day for athletes, this year saw a staggering 80,000 athletes taking part in either the virtual or running the route in London. This year marked the 40th Anniversary of the race. For the runners taking to the streets of London the route started at Blackheath in Greenwich. From here the athletes run towards the Cutty Sark, for mile 6. By mile 12 the athletes are next to The Shard and move straight on the Tower Bridge. Then the athletes run towards Canary Wharf, to reach mile 18, then along to the Embankment to see the London Eye, Westminster and on to the Houses of Parliament for mile 25. The final part of the route takes the runners to Buckingham Palace and the runners finish on The Mall.
Jo Robinson came back first for the pioneers, and achieved a personal best, finishing the route in 3:06:34. Followed by Emma Langstaff, who crossed the finish line in 3:22:03. Followed by Mandy Gibson with 3:38:03, finishing just before her husband and running partner Phil Gibson 3:58:26, who both ran for Wish for William charity. Alison Catnach finished the iconic run in 3:45:02. Cheryl Broas completed the run in 4:15:34, with Elysia Gregory the only member of the Gregory household to be running in London, with the other members of the family opting for the virtual run, completing the route in 4:35:29. Then came a flurry of Looe Pioneers crossing the finish line, with Brendan Palmer finishing in 4:42:36, Linda Cuff crossing the finish line at 4:45:59, Louisa Chisholm completing the route in 4:46:27, who raised over £6000 for her charity Action on Addiction. Helen Lawes came in next with a time of 4:49:06, followed by Sarah Barker with a time of 4:55:31.
For the virtual runners, who were allowed to run on any route, as long as they reached the 26.2 miles. Martin Gregory finished his route in 3:54:27, with his daughter Jas Gregory, looping multiple times around the Royal Veterinary College Campus finishing in 5:07:01. Julie Gregory, who had recently received medical advice instructing her to run, still competed by walking the distance in 9:03:34. Her dedication to finishing is incredible.
Clive Finnimore, a seasoned marathon runner, decided to take the opportunity to enjoy the coastal path, making his virtual run a multi-terrain route and completed his route in 4:30:45. Graham Mace completed his virtual route in 4:48:51.
Donna Gundry, who completed her first marathon in 5:20:39, was joined at the end by her family, who created a finish line for her to cross and received a bouquet of flowers to celebrate her achievement.
Lynne Overd, who is currently recovering from injury completed the route in 7:19:45
Many pioneers came out to support the virtual runners, cheering them on and in several cases joining them for a few miles.