Message from Peter Simpson, with arrangements to meet-up at the London Marathon to support our runners:
Less than three weeks until the London Marathon on 22 April, our 11 runners will hopefully have reached their training peaks and begin to taper their training soon to allow their body to recover and build-up reserves for the big day.
The arrangements to support our vegan runners will be similar to previous years, I intend to reach the Blue Start (from Blackheath station as public transport allows) to meet as many of our runners as possible and to take photos. As the runners line-up I shall be walking up and down the right-hand side and maybe holding a banner to attract their attention and any other runners interested. Our faster runners such as Paul Loader and Ulrike Lemke are likely to be in pens that are inaccessible to the public. A few of our runners, especially our charity runners such as Luisa (running for Iaine Rennie Hospice) and Rachel (for National Deaf Children’s Society) are more likely to be in the Red Start so I will not see them at this point.
After the start I shall take the train to Rotherhithe, around 9 miles where from last year’s experience the elite will be passing as I arrive. Hopefully I will stay long enough on the right-hand side to see all of our runners pass before walking to the next station with Rotherhithe not accepting passengers back onto the platform for safety reasons. I may arrive at our Finish meeting point around 1pm in time to congratulate Paul & Ulrike. You can find our meeting point in Horse Guards Road at tree labeled ‘NO’, the letters of the alphabet. Last year we seemed to get more notice from runners than past years (recruiting John Fulham) although we did not have many runners. Obviously the meeting point is a great photo opportunity with our runners displaying their medal.
We intend to keep our meeting point going until at least 4pm or 6 hours 15 minutes after the start. It does take time to get through the secure finish area reserved for runners and it is quite normal to rest here for some time before moving on into the crowds of supporters waiting to greet their runner(s). Coming out of the secure area, the runners turn right into Horse Guards Road (no motor traffic except emergency vehicles) and the letters of the alphabet will be attached to trees and additionally in Horse Guards Parade on the left.
If any of our runners & supporters are interested and still around after 4pm we normally have a meal at a nearby Chinese Vegan Buffet, the last two years at the Jao in Old Compton Street. This year following a visit to the area on 25 March, there is a slightly nearer venue for the meal at the Tao in Great Windmill Street off Shaftesbury (on the edge of Soho), it is quite distinctive with its electronic sign. If the restaurant is too full, we will try the Jao, a further 5 minutes walk where there are seats downstairs.