On Saturday 22nd September I took part in the Shine marathon in London. This is a night time walking marathon that starts at Southwark park, Bermondsey and ended at the Old Billingsgate market in the city. I was in the last group to set off and left Southwark park at 22:30, they stagger it and have the half marathoners leave at 19:30 and 20:25 and the full marathoners go at 21:20 and 22:15.
The first half of the marathon took us from Bermondsey to Wellington Arch near Hyde park and took us past landmarks such as tower bridge, tower of London, the gherkin, St Pauls cathedral, Sadler’s wells theatre, the crick (which is a biomedical research centre which is partnership between Cancer Research UK, Imperial College London, King’s College London, the Medical Research Council, University College London and the Wellcome Trust), the BT tower and marble arch.
As it was night time London was lit up along with us shine walkers and looked so pretty. That was until the wind and rain decided try and ruin the night but everyone’s spirits were high and everyone kept each other going. The first half felt like a breeze so I continued going strong into the second half until I got just before mile 15. I saw another participant who I thought was stretching out by some railings so I carried on past until I heard a thud and ran over to him, sadly he collapsed and was fitting on the floor so I called a steward over and a drunken passer-by called for an ambulance so I stayed with him and wrapped him up in my foil blanket and kept talking to him once the seizure stopped. Once I knew he was in safe hands I carried on but by this time the coldness and tiredness kicked in so I found my pace slowing down and the weather really had put a downer on my mood but I kept talking to other participants which was nice and took my mind off things.
The second part of marathon took me past landmarks including Buckingham palace, Downing Street, Battersea Power Station, Tate Britain, the Houses of Parliament, London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the Shard. The final mile felt like it took forever and when I crossed the finish line I recorded 47.9KM!
There were six water stations on the whole course providing water, hot drinks, snacks and the most important part very clean and well stocked up portaloos! At the finish line they had a slightly soggy red carpet and the after party area was brilliant with lots of music and plenty of much needed hot drinks to warm us all up. Overall the experience was brilliant and I am happy to say this was my second Shine that I had completed, my official time was 9:45 which isn’t bad seeing as I stopped to help someone back at mile 15 but I am going back next year to get a sub 7 hour finish time. I would highly recommend this event as it is well organised, you get to do some night time sightseeing and make lots of new friends along the way.