Oscar, one of the ‘B’ group coaches, was in London this year, supporting wife Jane and the rest of the Bella runners. He’s sent this report in of his exploits:
As has become my norm over the last 4 years, since I ran my last London marathon in 2006, I made my way down to London to support Jane and the rest of the Bella team doing the Marathon.
Arriving at the elite start just before 8 am the atmosphere was already starting to build and after saying a final good luck to Jane I headed to my first vantage point just after 12 miles. Having done this supporters role many times I have come to the decision that I can catch many more Bella runners if I limit myself to two points on the course, first one just before the turn to run over Tower Bridge then on to the Embankment.
Getting the train back from Maze hill to London Bridge I ran down to my first stop and got a great position before it starts to get too busy. I’m there in plenty of time to see the wheelchair leaders and then the first Ladies come through followed shortly by the leading men’s pack less than 20 minutes behind. Lemonchello going well and he gets a good cheer from me. Then comes the first athlete I know Jethro Lennox from Shettleston closely followed by our own Kenny. The crowd had really grown by now and the atmosphere built up – the noise was incredible. Seeing Kenny got my excitement level up and then Bella’s are coming thick and fast, Colin, Russell, Scott, Al, Brian, Rebecca, Alastair, Stewart, Linda and Karlyn, Lucy and Jane all getting the full Oscar projection to encourage them along. I hung around for about 10 minutes after Jane went through with a hope of seeing other Bella’s but I had to go if I was to get the 4.5 miles to my next viewpoint in time to see everyone again. I find it easer to run this rather than try to fight my way through the crowds using the underground.
I arrived at the embankment just before the 24 mile mark, at a point I am sure a few of the regular runners will expect me to be at, just missing the leading ladies group but in plenty of time to see the full list of those I saw at 12 miles. By this stage the runners really need a boost and I do try my best to give them a good shout. I don’t think many miss me though. Colin, Russell, Al, and Linda in particular looked like they were running really well as they came past me, then before I knew it a slightly emotional Jane came up the rise and I got a quick cuddle before she was off for her last two miles.
Off I set running the last two miles to meet up at the finish which is a mass of people trying to hook up with family and friends who have also done the race. Eventually Jane came out of the crowd really pleased with here efforts and proudly displaying her well earned Marathon Medal.
Every year at some stage I get to thinking I should be running this race again, thankfully it doesn’t last too long. I’ll be back watching though.