REPORT 26th London-Marathon, 23/04/2006
to german version
Deena reigning in the rain
Deena Kastor and Felix Limo first to cross the finish line
Runners fundraise £35 mio for their charities
(photos: Volkmar Hofferberth, Uli Sauer, BBC)
Paul Tergat appeared daily on the expo and had a lot of time
for the runners (photo: US)
Enjoyable jog on Saturday morning
in Royal St. James Park
Final preparation for the 26-miles-exhibition
Year after year the London Marathon organisers claim to have engaged the
best field of elite runners ever. However, this time the efforts were
There were contracts fixed with both the world record holders, but both
had to withdraw due to injury. First it was Paula Radcliffe who suffered
from a bruised toe since December, and a few days before the race Paul
Tergat had to call his start off after he caught a sudden problem with
his calf muscle. What are the organizers now going to do with the saved
Anyway, the elite field is just the very smallest part of the mass event
which turns London into a traffic free Sunday city. 1981, seeing the
marathon debut, there were 20.000 athletes applying for 7.747 numbers.
For the 25th marathon edition in 2005 there were 131.000 runners trying
to get in, with 47.969 lucky to receive a place. This year numbers were
limited to 46.926 after race director David Bedford got the impression the route had
reached its capacity.
The BBC got it right, advertising their TV live coverage by showing a
chicken and an egg, underlined "It doesn't matter who comes first."
This, too, was the motto of most of the runners. 70% were fundraising for
their chosen charity. Many of them wore colourful and imaginative
costumes, sometimes spacious ones.
£35 mio are expected to be collected.
The London Marathon never lacked self-confidence. "The world's best
marathon" they call themselves, like never heard of British
understatement. Regarding the atmosphere along the route and the mood of
runners and spectators alike, the judgement is undoubtedly right.
However, if the London Marathon wants to play the leading role within
the newly founded World Marathon Majors there are of lot things to
improve looking at the technical service for the mass runners. The
process to enter the race is still at the same technical development
status as it was in 1981. It is so long winded and circumstantially that a
brochure is sold for £9 to enable applicants to understand the process.
Comparing with Berlin, Chicago, New York, runners miss the online-entry,
online list of accepted applications, certificate, short message
service, online trekking en route, results sent via mail. London has the
biggest budget and the smallest service.
Wonder why we come again year after year? It's the time between the
start and the finish which is simply unrivalled.
(photos: copyright BBC)
Greenwich Parades (photo: VH)
My own preparations were not very lucky either. Running in the wintry
woods I caught an ankle injury which I didn't allow to be cured
properly. Finally I was down to an emergency training programme of not
more than 20 miles per week. I could only run the marathon by taking
diclofenac tablets which are not banned but certainly this is not the
model how a recreational runner should act. I would have withdrawn from any
other marathon, but My London? The Daily Telegraph called it "The annual
masochist fest". This couldn't take place without me.
A size check of the fat depot at my hips didn't prove being ready for
the best of my performances. I hadn't get close to the scales for weeks.
Who dares to see the truth?
Lloyd Scott alias St. Georg was fundraising for Leukaemia
His armous has 100lbs, and the dragon lacks wheels because the
rules of the London Marathon strictly ban all wheeled vehicles.
Lloyd planned to reach the finish line the following sunday.
(photo: copyright BBC)
Katie Austin and Gorden Fryer are not the first couple to marry
while running the London Marathon. But they are the first who
are accompanied by the bride's parents. The family stopped for
80 minutes to allow time for a worthy ceremony at the dining
room in Tower Bridge. The then married couple crossed the finish
line after 7:17 hrs.
(photo: copyright BBC)
Daily Telegraph: "A mixture of pleasure and pain."
What I have developed: Pain is pure pleasure.
Volkmar (right) found an English friend en route.
When I glared at the men's top runners on the other side of The Highway
- they were 9 miles in front of me - the women's elite field was
gone through long before. The ladies had started 45 minutes before us.
Top-seeded Deena Kastor (USA), lastly second place in Berlin's big Half
Marahton clocking a US record, ran a lonesome race around the Isle of
Dogs and along the Embankment heading to Buckingham Palace. Even so she
was not free of doubts. Chicago was in her minds where she faced a
breakdown in the final stages managing to win by her very last energy.
Quoting Deena: The 20-mile point is always the gauge of whether it's
going to be a good or a bad day and at that stage I felt very
comfortable. But the marathon can be very deceptive. You want to stay in
control for as long as possible but the monkey can jump on your back at
any time." I didn't know that there are monkeys on US marathon
It was nearly the same with me. After 20 miles I didn't feel safe. "If
I had to walk the rest of the distance, it would take me 2 hours to get
to the finish. I will certainly get my medal." were my thoughts. But I
managed to keep running and to hold the pace.
Deena Kastor did it the perfect way, clocking two identical half
marathons and finishing after 2:19:36, a US record what made her the 4th
fastest women ever. Even before she crossed the finish line race
directors of New York and Chicago Marathon started negotiating about her
start in their event. Rennen zu verpflichten. May be one of them will
host the showdown with Deena Kastor and Paula Radcliffe.
The above mentioned monkey meanwhile was sitting on the back of Haile
Gebrselassie. "At 25K I knew that my race was over. It was surprising
that I managed to reach the finish." He defencelessly had to watch the
Kenians making their way for victory and blamed the wet and cold London
weather on his muscle problems.
Felix Limo (25) is a truly worthy winner, albeit the organisers had
slight difficulties to present the calm and chary Kenian
to the media. Felix already won the fast marathons in Rotterdam (PB
2:06:14), Berlin and Chicago. Therefore he currently is the world's most
successful marathon runner. His race comment was: "I knew at the 40K
mark that I was going to win or come very close. I felt good although
the conditions were not great. But when the conditions are not perfect
you have to use your brain as well as your legs."
Deena Kastor making her way to victory.
(photo: copyright BBC)
Felix Limo is leading the top group. Rogers Rop finished 6th, behind him
Hendrick Ramaala, who placed 3rd after Martin Lel.
(photo: copyright BBC)
Felix Limos impish answer after being asked what he will be doing
with his prize money: "I havn't got any money yet."
The presenter is insisting, wants to know, whether he will buy any
land in Kenia. Felix: "Kenia's land is for everybody. It's not
a good thing if anybody has too much on his own." Well spoken!
The winner in front of the press, Race Director David Bedford on the
Time at 50% Finishers:
last registered time:
South African: 93
1 Felix Limo (KEN), M20, 2:06:39
2 Martin Lel (KEN), M20, 2:06:41
3 Hendrick Ramaala (RSA), M30, 2:06:55
4 Khalid Khannouchi (USA), M30, 2:07:04
5 Stefano Baldini (ITA), M30, 2:07:22
6 Rogers Rop (KEN), M30, 2:07:34
7 Hicham Chatt (MAR), M30, 2:07:59
8 Jouad Gharib (MAR), M30, 2:08:45
9 Haile Gebrselassie (ETH), M30, 2:09:05
10 Evans Rutto (KEN), M20, 2:09:35
1 Deena Kastor (USA), W30, 2:19:36
2 Lyudmila Petrova (RUS), W30, 2:21:29
3 Susan Chepkemei (KEN), W30, 2:21:46
4 Berhane Adere (ETH), W30, 2:21:52
5 Galina Bogomolova (RUS), W20, 2:21:58
6 Mara Yamauchi (GBR), W30, 2:25:13
7 Constantina Dita (ROM), W30, 2:27:51
8 Salina Kosgei (KEN), W20, 2:28:40
9 Margaret Okayo (KEN), W20, 2:29:16
10 Eri Hayakawa (JPN), W20, 2:31:41
Next year's race day: 22/04/2007
Complete Marathon Results in a zipped Excel-file:
Not to be missed:
Runners Voices Fotobericht