Virgin Money London Marathon – Sunday 22nd April 2018

Tower Hill at Press Conference

Press Conference Details and Race Details 

Press Conference for The Virgin Money London Marathon
Friday 20th April 2018

Once again the London Marathon is here.  This is the 38th on of the marathon.   Her Majesty The  Queen will start the race from Windsor Castle welcoming a fantastic line-up of the world's best elite runners and para athletes to the London marathon.  The #SpiritOfLondon theme will showcase the extraordinary stories of the London Marathon’s runners, champions, volunteers and supporters as more people than ever before take on the 26.2-mile challenge.

At the Press Conference today, I caught up with Kathrine Switzer who was one of the first women to officially run in the Boston Marathon in 1967 where she was heckled and almost forcibly removed from the race by Jock Semple, a race official.  Kathrine was officially entered despite a ban on female competitors.  You can read an exclusive interview with Kathrine in the March issue of TurningPoint: Your Lifestyle, Your Well-Being

Press Conference Video interview with Kathrine on Friday
Click here: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKzGSjFqPTQ

I also caught up with  Two runners  from #thestephenlawrencetrust who are part of a team of ten running #thestephenlawrenceteam to raise vital funds for  the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, 25 years to the day since the teenager was murdered in a racially motivated attack.

The count down has started to the The Virgin Money London Marathon.  It is estimated that  more than 41,000 have registered for the race over the last four days.  Esther Austin Global will be following the race and keeping up with

I will be joining the 261 Fearless team as they support Kathrine Switzer tomorrow.  Kathrine was one of the first women to officially run in the Boston Marathon in 1967 where she was heckled and almost forcibly removed from the race by Jock Semple, a race official.  Kathrine was officially entered despite a ban on female competitors.

261 Fearless (261 is the bib number Kathrine Switzer wore at the 1967 Boston Marathon) is a global supportive social running network which empowers women to connect and take control of their lives through the freedom gained by running.

Interview with Michael Watson, MBE, Former British Boxer

Esther with Michael Watson MBE and Lenard his Carer

I also caught up with the incredibly inspirational Michael Watson, MBE is a former British Boxer. Michael's career was cut short because of a near-fatal injury during a loss to Chris Eubank for the WBO super-middleweight title in 1991. 

Video interview with Michael Watson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pyms3tdE71I

 

Race Day Write-Up and Images 

For the first time, more than 40,000 runners completed the Virgin Money London Marathon after record numbers left the Start Line this morning, making the 38th edition of the race the biggest in its history.

The Fearless261 Team who came out to support Kathrine were a bunch of easy going, fun loving ladies (and two youngsters) who were clearly there to give Kathrine the well-deserved support she needed.  Lots of walking, shouting, waving and cheering took place in between intermittent conversations about life, aspirations and dreams.  Joining the throng of the crowd we walked, took the DLR, then walked some more.  Feet aching but still in good spirits we were all there for a dedicated reason.  To show our appreciation for an iconic figure who had set a precedent for women's equality, as well as for women's fitness and well-being - marathon running.

The theme of the marathon this year was aptly called #SpiritOfLondon, celebrating the spirit and tenacity of individuals who had over-come tremendous challenges and even tragedy.  In the same vein it was awe-inspiring to see supporters from all over the world, strangers,  come together to cheer on single participant.  Most participants had their names on their bibs and so they were cheered on by strangers, with gusto and passion which , galvanised them to keep going, as tired, aching muscles and exhaustion kicked in.  The day was a very hot 24 degrees and yet participants determined to run and finish their race.  Many supporting various charities which were dear to their heart. There was a wonderful air of togetherness, fun, dedication, fun and more fun.  Children were high fiving runners, cheering, blowing whistles and joining in the festivities as well.

My message to you today is this.  Try something different today. Step outside your comfort zone.  Do something for someone else.  The benefits and rewards are so numerous.  If you are female and looking for inspiration to get fit then take a look at the work of 261 Fearless.  Join a league of women who are taking charge of their health and well-being, who are making life transforming changes to their world and who have found pleasure and release through running.

By 19:00 this evening, 40,255 had conquered the hottest Race Day on record to cross the Finish Line in The Mall and pick up their hard-earned medals and souvenir finishers’ T-shirts, beating last year’s record total by 768 runners.  Next time you too could be part of this yearly phenomena.

Women’s running pioneer Kathrine Switzer completed her first London Marathon in 4:44:49 at the tender age of 71, while the oldest runner of all, Samuel Starbrook, was some way back in 8:21:44.

Switzer, who started the women’s and World Cup races before running herself, summed up the spirit of the day when she said: “London’s always been there for me. I’m shattered but elated to have taken part today. It’s been a beautiful day.”

 

 

Videos  

 

 

A huge thank you goes out to my Partner for his unconditional support over the past two days.  Thank you so much