Yesterday was the London marathon, and it was basically the nicest day England has seen in months, meaning the 37,000 runners banking on there at least not being any sun, like every other day, were bathed in warm sunlight as they ran for 26 miles. I’m sure there are a few people with lobster-like faces today.
My boyfriend’s older bro, Tom, was running for Kidney Research UK, a cause very close to the family’s hearts as their dad, Brian, has had two kidney transplants and was on dialysis for a few years – it’s a pretty miserable existence. So at 9am yesterday, my boyfriend’s mum and dad, two family friends and his brother’s fiancee turned up and filled the living room with bacon and purple Kidney Research t-shirts, because we’re about 20 metres from the marathon route at both the 13 and 22 mile points. Which is brilliant.
Basically, it’s like having a holiday house right on the beach: loads of people schlep for miles to get there, carrying things they need for the day, committing to hours of unrelenting activity, and having to search for toilets, letting your drinks get warm and ending the day tired and a little grumpy, having to get back inside a hot car or uncomfortably travelling by public transport in sandy, wet clothes. NOT US. We popped back home after cheering Tom at the 13-mile mark, had a sit down, made 12 ham sandwiches (we ate about half a pig between us yesterday), and got back just in time to cheer Tom again, then went and sat in the churchyard nearby. When we realised they were having a bake sale and we had no money, we popped back to the house to grab some change. NOT BAD.
It’s a great day out – everyone wins. Free entertainment, a great sense of community and human endeavour, raising funds for charity (Tom has raised almost £3000!). Actually that’s not entirely true, someone loses and that is the street cleaners – there is a LOT of rubbish left behind. A compromise of both extra rubbish disposal facilities along the route and people taking their rubbish with them when there’s no room in the bins needs to be reached in these situation.
Although I did the least amount of travelling possible for this particular post, it’s hopefully a reminder to to check out what’s on your doorstep. Sometimes, events like festivals, fairs, exhibitions and sport are made all the better when you don’t have to traipse for hours to get there.