What It Was Like To Run The Very Rainy, Virtual London Marathon

Flooded routes didn't dampen the spirits of 43,000 runners.
HuffPost UK

The Virgin Money London Marathon looked a little different this year due to Covid-19, but runners still attacked the 26.2 miles with the same spirit.

Around the world, more than 43,000 ran the distance “virtually” on Sunday, logging their route and times online and raising thousands of pounds for charity in the process.

Storm Alex meant many running in the UK had to contend with strong winds and heavy rain, but they refused to let the weather dampen proceedings.

Robbie Higgins, who’s based in Tooting Bec, London, completed the 26.2 miles for the charity Children with Cancer UK by running around Battersea Park, but he lost track of how many laps it took.

“It was wet, cold, miserable and I can’t think of anything else I’d have rather been doing,” he says. “Amazing camaraderie amongst fellow runners and I was lucky to have some great supporters in my wife, sister and nephew too!”

Robbie Higgins
Robbie Higgins
Robbie Higgins

Jennifer White, who’s originally from Edinburgh but is now based in London, ran the marathon for Peta by creating her own route across the capital. Despite the weather being “terrible”, she says the first eight miles “flew by”.

“Due to the torrential rain, the phone I was using as a map died and I got lost from the planned route,” she says. “This meant my group of friends (who were madly driving around Clapham/Tooting/Brixton) couldn’t find me from mile eight and I didn’t find them again until mile 25!

“Thankfully, there were some toots of support from other drivers but it was very different to how I imagine the traditional London Marathon. Overall, I loved the experience and finished in 4 hours 33 minutes.”

Jennifer White
Jennifer White
Jennifer White

Emma Cantrell, who’s based in Wokingham, Berkshire, had a slightly more rural route for her “amazing’ first marathon.

“Some of my route was very flooded which meant some brilliant knee-deep-in-water running,” she says. “It was an incredible experience and I loved every moment. I raised £3,000 for a small child poverty charity.”

Emma Cantrell
Emma Cantrell
Emma Cantrell

In contrast Lebby Eyres, who’s based in London, took a more traditional route for her fourth London marathon.

“It was the loneliest and wettest marathon I’ve ever done but anyone wearing a number cheered me on and likewise,” she says. “I even hit Tower Bridge at 13 miles, as normal! Feeling proud today.”

Lebby Eyres
Lebby Eyres
Lebby Eyres

Check out more photos and videos celebrating the day below – congratulations to all the runners!

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