Friday, 11 April 2008

London Marathon Madness

This morning I woke to beautiful sunshine. I am now looking out of the window while hailstones rain down. I dressed in jeans and a t-shirt but have now added a fleece and turned the central heating on! What is going on with this weather?

This weekend will see thousands of amateur runners wearing fancy dress costumes jogging, walking and hobbling the London Marathon. Of course, there are a small percentage of serious runners who compete in this annual event but the London Marathon is largely associated with charity fundraisers. Last year the weather was so hot that people were passing out along the course. This year it seems that drowning in puddles or slipping on ice may be a higher risk than heat stroke! Personally, I find the prospect of running 26 miles for fun (or charity) to be rather mad but good luck to those of you who are attempting it.

For non-runners, tourists, sightseers and holidaymakers, this Sunday will be a little chaotic in London so plan your day carefully.

30,000 competitors (plus their supporters) ascending on London en masse is bound to take its toll on the transport system so don’t be surprised if you discover long queues at tube stations and bus stops. All the roads along the route are closed to normal traffic so don’t even think about driving around London on Sunday! If the weather is fine, consider walking from one attraction to another or avoid the marathon route and visit the sights in other parts of London. If you want to avoid the runners in animal costumes, why not see the real thing at London Zoo? This is one place that I'm ashamed I've never visited... I blame my parents of course! I may just have to enrol my nephews as an excuse to visit sometime soon. Mind you, why should I need an excuse to go to the zoo?! Hampton Court Palace is also a safe distance away from the marathon course and I've been told it's well worth a visit. Of course, you may wish to be part of the marathon excitement and combine some sightseeing at the same time. If this is the case then some of the major places of interest along or near the course are the Tower of London, the Cutty Sark exhibition, St Paul's Cathedral, the Jewel Tower at Westminster and the Royal Mews stables. All of these tourist hot spots can be visited using the London Pass so if you do want to join the marathon madness and still see some sights then don't forget to buy that all important smart card!

If you are in London on Sunday you should be aware that mobile phone reception may be poor due to volumes so if you are planning to meet people, make sure you organise it beforehand in case you can’t make a phone call.

Whatever the weather and whatever you decide to do this weekend, I hope you have a good one!

No comments: