Not the normal London Marathon, but certainly not a dry run

MapAction patron Vanessa Lawrence CB and her running partner and god-daughter Jocelyn Moore (whose partner Steve is a MapAction volunteer and also a London Marathon veteran) ran the London Marathon for us together for the second year running on a very wet day in October. Here’s Vanessa’s account of the experience.

Jocelyn and Vanessa standing on a country path in very wet waterproof clothing, smiling to camera. Vanessa is holding her Marathon runners

The 2020 London Marathon was named by the organisers for the non-elite runners as the ‘my race, my way’ London Marathon. Participants had 24 hours to complete the 26.2 miles (42.2km); you could start when you liked and finish when you liked and do it in any way you wished…so long as an electronic device tracked you, to ensure you completed the distance!

Sunday morning 4th October 2020, Marathon day dawned – but hardly! It was very dark, the rain was slashing down and a cold wind was blowing.
Jocelyn and I had planned the route, plotted it on an Ordnance Survey ‘custom made’ map (a good Christmas Present for those who like maps – £16.99!) and thankfully found a ‘long lost’ map case to keep the map dry.

We set off wearing full wet weather gear and the whole day was dominated by driving rain, a cold wind and lots and lots of mud!

Our route took us through pretty villages which were totally empty, across a windswept airfield, through ancient woodlands, along roads completely under water, over and under the M25 and past very interesting local landmarks. We had an encounter with about 70 bullocks who walked into ‘our field’ as we were about one third across it. They surrounded us but eventually they lost interest…phew!

Close up of Jocelyn and Vanessa smiling to camera wearing damp rain hoods

Thankfully, two thirds of the way along the route, we stopped at a friend’s house. It was so welcome to get out of the driving rain and the biting wind to enjoy some warmth and a welcome cup of tea. We thought she was marvellous as she decided to join us for the next two miles to experience the horrible weather and took a photo of us both at mile 17, with still nearly another 10 miles to go!

Darkness fell early but thankfully we had head torches and hi-vis jackets with us and we arrived back at our start with 1.1km still to do…so we decided to walk around the local roads and thankfully that did the trick. 26.2 miles or 42.2 km completed!

Close up of Jocelyn and Vanessa smiling to camera with London Marathon The 40th Race frame and text reading 'I've just run the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon'

Thank you so much for supporting us. The money thankfully is still streaming in and it is likely our final total will be in excess of £4000.

But please be warned; the London Marathon organisers are not subtle! They already have sent Jocelyn and I places in the ‘real London Marathon’ to take place on Sunday 3rd October 2021 in London when they confidently predict the pandemic will be over. Let’s hope so! But I am confident of one thing (well at the moment anyway!)…London Marathon 2021 probably will be my last Marathon as they really are a long, long way!

Stay safe and thank you again from us both.