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London Mini Marathon – 22 April 2012

For the first time ever Wimborne AC athletes win selection for the South-West England team in the Mini-Marathon. Ryan Walbridge reports from the streets of London.

Grace, Ryan and Piers show off their Mini-Marathon medals

On Saturday 21st of April I had to travel to Chieveley services (near Newbury) where we met up with Piers and Grace Copeland. The South-West coach would make its last stop to pick up the athletes waiting there and take them up to London.

From there it was a 1-1 ½ hour journey on the coach until we got to the Royal Holloway College. When we got to the college they gave us our numbers and our race chips, which we had to put on straight away, as we had no time to do it in the morning. We all got a different coloured t-shirt depending on what age group you were in. We also got a book on the London Marathon and a pre-packed breakfast, as it was a very early start in the morning. Once we had done all of that, they gave us our room keys.

The under-13s had to share a room, but everyone else got a room to themselves. At 8:00pm we went down to the hub where we had a free tea, which was either chicken and chips or pasta and potatoes with sides like salad or bread. After 9:00pm there was a team talk about what was going to happen in the morning, we were also informed about what would happen after the race and where we would meet our parents. The team manager also said that there was a time limit and you had to be in bed and lights off at 9:45pm as we had to get up at 5:00am to go in a convoy with all the other teams that were staying at the college, there were around 10 coaches.

On Sunday morning at 5:40am we all grouped in the corridor and gave in our room keys and made our way to the coach for the trip to Billingsgate market where there were pens for all the different ages. We all got into our correct pen and then waited to start the race.

At 9:00am the wheelchair athletes went off first. At 9:10am the under-17 boys went off and did their race where Hobie Martin of South-West won his race. Seven minutes later it was the under-15 boys, which I was running in. I finished in a very respectable time of 16:34 for three miles. After this it was time for Piers to do his run – Piers crossed the finish line at 17:58.

Piers at speed in the London Mini-Marathon

Twenty-one minutes later it was Grace’s turn to do her race. Grace took a tumble when one of her team-mates trod on her heel, but despite this she still recorded a time of 19:20. Grace then had to go and see the first-aiders to clean up a wounded knee.

Grace on Birdcage Walk

The feeling that you get is amazing, all the spectators are shouting and cheering you on. The sensation of running down London’s roads which are normally filled with vehicles are replaced with loads of runners pumped to the full with adrenaline which helps you get round the course and across the line.

Once you have crossed the line there are people that cut the tag off your shoe. You also got a medal and a goodie bag with a t-shirt saying you were a London Mini Marathon finisher.  We then had group photo, and made are way back to the meeting area to find our parents. Then we stood and watched some adult athletes during their race. We then made our way back to the car where we made our way home.

Ryan

 

PS: There are no photos available of Ryan in action – he was too quick for our cameraman!

 

 
 
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