Olympic Women's Marathon, 5 August

Report from Peter Simpson:

Five VRUK members were in contact during the race and most of us went for lunch at the Jai vegan buffet in Old Compton Street. Peter arrived before 9am when it was almost empty on Victoria Embankment so decided to wander up to Admiralty Arch via Northumberland Avenue following the course in reverse. After a quick photo he returned to Victoria Embankment where the public were arriving in numbers and only just found a space at the barrier. By chance it was opposite the special drinks stations arranged in alphabetical order for the nations participating and our nearest was New Zealand. Unfortunately the weather was not looking too good, there was a clap of thunder before 1030 and soon it was raining persistently, continuing for the next 2 hours.

The runners were due to pass us three times in both directions so plenty of opportunities for photos. It was raining heavily the first time the runners passed so decided to keep the camera under cover. Located shortly after 3 miles, there was still a large group of leading runners first time, preceded by a large vehicle of photographers / media. Other vegan runners present were initially standing elsewhere but found us after the runners went through for the first time. It was obviously very congested by this time so not easy communicating, meanwhile we continued to soak up the rain, umbrella or not. Despite the miserable weather, the crowd remained in good spirits, cheering on the runners at every opportunity including the runners at the rear.

It was difficult viewing the runners on the other side of the road on return except at the water stations where there were no barriers. Not in a good position to see the runners: Dave, Vanessa, Jon and Rafal moved away to find a more advantageous position. We agreed to meet again after the event.

At Trafalgar Square afterwards from left: Peter, Vanessa, Jon and Dave