I. Mizuh in London
Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang grabbed gold for men and compatriot, Edna Kiplagat for female in this year’s London marathon as local hero, Mo Farah finished 8th as thousands cheered and celebrated.
Farah , the double World and Olympic champion, who was making his debut in the marathon was the focus of the day, as no British man had won the London Marathon for two decades.
Although Farah tried his best but finished outside the medal table, he at least set a new record for Team GB, as the fourth fastest British runner in the race with 2:08:21 finishing time.
It was a bright, calmed but chilly, morning in London as athletes with running gears from various parts of the world squeezed into the crowded London Underground trains to reach the point of departure at Greenwich.
Although it was Palm Sunday, a visitor like myself, would have expected to see a less busy London as Christians commemorated Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, it was rather bustling and booming as usual.
As one of the most popular marathons in the world, the London marathon has its uniqueness that it touches the lives of the local people who always pour out into the streets to celebrate and cheer.
They get actively involved from the organisation, to coordination, to volunteering, to assisting the athletes as well as providing guide to the disable and water for the thirsty.
Fancy dressers, fun, fanfare
Another peculiarity of the London marathon is that although the runners have to clock the 26.2miles, it also a sports fête to show off fancy dresses or don something difference.
While most athletes, especially those from Africa or professional marathon runners take part so as to win medals and cash prizes, for the thousands of locally based runners, running in London is an honour to raise funds to support charity work towards humanity, research, animal or the environment.
Think of any serious charity in the UK, and you would be sure to find an athlete running or bearing a banner with messages of appeal from a charitable trust.
To encourage these runners, who most have taken the whole year to raise fun and to train hard for the race, are always euphoric family members, friends and well-wishers.
The charities in their hundreds also queued at strategic corners along the race route just to cheer and support these enthusiastic athletes.
It is always enjoyment to watch volunteers from various charities cheering and encouraging their athletes to carry on though it is a long way to go round London with its breathtaking picturesque landscape.
From the young to old, girls to women, professional athletes to amateurs and even amputees, the spirit to hang on and cross the finish line remained high as the cheering just went forever all day.
As the sun settled behind the clouds marking the end of the event, the celebration continued in the pubs around London.
While many people prefer to stay at home and watch the race on TV screens, they often miss out in the street celebrations and enjoyment which offer visitors the chance to meet and make new friends.
To be part of next year’s event as a runner, registrations have been scheduled to start on Tuesday 22 April 2014.