Whew, what an intense 3 weeks in the running world. We’re still recovering from Covid and all the cancellations of races of 2020 which has thrown marathon scheduling all the way off. Over the past two years this has led to October having the blitz of 3 straight weeks of marathons with Berlin, London and Chicago happening in the span of 3 weeks. It’s a huge experience if you have a chance to gain entry. Luckily a few of us from Mid Strike was able to run Berlin and London marathons. Keron Alleyene went to Berlin to take care of business while Mid Strike founder Jesse Spellman and contributor Kimberley Williams took on London. We all know how hard it is to find representation at these races so one thing we wanted to make sure of was that we had a safe space for all black runners that took part in the London Marathon.
The Prep: It all started weeks and months in advance with the wonderful planning of Kim as her goal was to make sure we all had a memorable trip and marathon, to make that happen she had to know who was attending thus the creation of Meet Me at The London both on Facebook and Instagram. These two social media avenues created a path for all of us to have an early meet and greet through the power of social media. Thus, upon arrival the bond and communication between all of us was already felt. Meeting in person it was easy for us to just fall into place and continue the conversations we were having. I’ve been on a few run trips and there’s a specific feeling that you get when you know that you’re around a special bunch. There were a few people doing some very special things:
Lawrence Gilliam running 3 marathons in 3 weeks, our feature for this month Erica Saunders running and getting her 6 stars, our contributor Kim getting her 5th star overall, hanging with the good men of Black Men Run NYC and overall, just meeting runners from around the world especially our UK fam.
The arrival: Most of us arrived early Friday morning a few earlier in the week, getting through arrivals was simple at least for myself. Once through customs it's straightforward with how you want to travel to Paddington which is where most of us stayed. If you're ever running London, I’d highly recommend the Paddington area as it is literally in the middle of everything. The finish line is a few stops from Paddington and there are numerous trains for you to catch to get you to the start of the race, but we’ll get into that later. Heathrow express is your best bet for $27 bucks it’s a direct line from Heathrow to Paddington and it’s only a 24-minute ride. Be prepared to do a lot of walking which is obviously good pre-race, but I would advise to stay off of your feet the day before the race.
Bib pick up was easy, once again The Tube is your best bet of transportation, DO NOT travel via Uber. We’ll explain later. Once we got to bib pick up the lines weren’t too long, we’re also marathon veterans so the earlier the better and quite honestly, I don’t like long lines. The TCS London expo
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