Despite a steady stream of rain yesterday morning, fans flooded the streets of London to cheer on the best female marathoners in the world. My friend and I had a hard time finding a spot on the railing, which was 4 or 5 people deep in some places, and I honestly think that the entire 26.2 mile course was occupied by spectators on both sides.
We eventually weaseled our way into the crowd and were able to see the women 3 different times- 2 from the streets and one from atop a bridge. Race officials begged the spectators to keep moving on the bridge, but eventually gave up when it became obvious that the fans weren’t about to leave such a great viewing spot. I loved when the runners passed by and I saw the officials cheering loudly with the crowd, forgetting their duties in the excitement of the race.
It’s hard to describe how awesome the race was. The effort and agony of every runner- from the lead women to those limping at the very back- were incredibly inspiring and make me anxious for my own future in the marathon.
I’m heading out now to meet up for a run with about a dozen other Rice track alums who are also here for the Olympics. We’re all wearing Rice shirts so will alert London that the Owls are in town!