Joe McDermott, Challenge Events Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support, describes the experience of the 2012 London Marathon and support from Eden Springs water
On the morning of 22 April 2012, 850 Team Macmillan runners lined up at the start line of the London Marathon in Blackheath and Greenwich, ready to take on the challenge they have been preparing for over the last six months of their lives. Each and every one of runners in their green Macmillan vests – whether it was for a close personal reason or just that they have admired the charity’s work – will have spent just as much time fundraising as training for the run (the London Marathon is the largest annual fundraising event in the world), something that Macmillan is keen to repay when it comes around to Marathon week itself.
As well as all of the top notch training and nutritional advice given to every Macmillan runner, in the week before the event Team Macmillan staff are on hand at the London Marathon Expo to give some last minute advice and encouragement to all of the runners who drop by the Macmillan stand and put on a Pasta Party the night before so runners can stock up on those vital carbs.
Hydration and recovery on the big day
On the big day itself, eight cheer points are set up along the route in order to give Team Macmillan runners a motivational boost along the course. Over 400 volunteers come out to the cheer points to support the team, so each cheer point is provided with banger sticks, foam hands and Macmillan t-shirts to be as visible and noisy as possible for the runners! The glug of water kindly provided by Eden Springs is also gratefully received at the cheer points as voices start to get hoarse!
Perhaps the peak of the support given to the runners on the day is at the Team Macmillan Recovery Centre. Runners can stagger here once their marathon journey is complete, to be greeted by a massive round of applause and a massage to help those tired legs recover. There are plenty of refreshments on hand too so runners can stock up on depleted energy levels. Here, too, the Eden Springs bottled water is invaluable to ensure none of the runners succumb to dehydration – especially vital on a day when it was much warmer than expected given the amounts of rain the London Marathon was sandwiched between.
All in all, the 2012 London Marathon managed to smash new records for Macmillan, with a record sized team hopefully raising a record amount of money for Macmillan Cancer Support, ensuring that people across the UK continue to receive emotional, medical, practical and financial support to people affected by cancer across the UK. With the 2013 ballot filling in less than 24 hours, 2013 promises more of the same – visit macmillan.org.uk/londonmarathon for more details.