Crossing the finish line

Ready, set, GO!

Last year, we followed 25 Joggers on their Journey to the London Marathon, held on 2nd October 2022. We loved hearing about our Joggers experiences of training at their local Places Leisure centre and preparing themselves for the 26.2 mile challenge in the capital.

Take a look at some of the reflections from our victorious runners and maybe pick up a few tips along the way!

Chris Frost

The race went really well! I picked up an injury four weeks before and missed the key final long runs. Lots of rehabilitation was needed leading up to the big day.

I finished the whole marathon without any stops and hit a new personal best of 4hrs 8mins as well. Still on a massive high, I’ve got a couple of aches but nothing I didn’t anticipate.

I would definitely do the London Marathon again. The crowd support was second to none out of all the races I have done to date. I would certainly recommend it to anyone!

Judith Kippax

I am pleased with how the whole weekend went. We met with various friends throughout the weekend. Friends made through meeting at other London Marathons, friends who our running has inspired to enter it themselves and other local runners from Sheffield who were also running it. Everyone had a successful race, some personal bests, some first ever marathons for an automatic personal best and myself and my husband ran good times though not our best.

I completed the race in 4 hours 22 minutes. I had planned a 10 minute a mile pace which is exactly 4:22. I started a bit too fast (as is often the case) and struggled to slow myself down. By mile 20 I was hitting 10 mins a mile as that was all I was capable of. My left calf kept threatening to cramp on me. I didn’t want to keep pushing for it to then fully collapse on The Mall, so I eased off in miles 25 and 26 with some walk breaks pushing me out to a 10:30 minute mile and an 11-minute mile. But the final time was an average 10 😊

If I was only 15 months older it would be a good for age qualifying time. I have run the London Marathon 7 times now and would do it again. I have entered the ballot but don’t really expect to get a place. I have run with a charity place for the last few years, but I do not intend to apply for another one. I love sharing the experience with friends through the weekend and I was lucky to run about 6 miles of London with a club mate as we ‘bumped’ into each other at mile 15.

What was challenging? From mile 19+, as ever. My next challenge is the Manchester to Liverpool ultra, 50 miles. It will be at a much slower pace, and I will be very interested to find if my calf will hold out still (I have run the Round Rotherham 50 mile in sub 12 hours a few years ago and quite a few back-to-back ultras of 50k + 50k over a weekend)

Stephen Hoare

My run and fuelling went really well, crossing the finish line in 4:14:24.

A little bit over my four-hour plan but a few muscle aches slowed me down a bit over miles 24 and 25. Now it is over I feel a huge sense of pride and achievement. As hard as it felt at the end I would most definitely do it again. What I liked about London the most is it is a special day that I will never forget, and the crowds are amazing. The atmosphere is unreal!

I have raised over £3000 for the British Heart Foundation. I’d say the most challenging part is the mental battle over the last couple of miles when you hit a bit of a wall. The body is saying no more so you must find a way to overcome that wall mentally and physically to push through those feelings and doubts.

My plan is now to get some proper rest till I find my next challenge!

Harriet Cooper

I did indeed finish the whole marathon! 26.2 miles is a long, long way. I would like to have completed it a little quicker, but time was never my goal. I only had two aims with The London Marathon and that was to finish it and not to have any injuries. Aside from being a little sore and stiff, I achieved both my aims.

How am I feeling now it’s over? Relieved and proud, I am however looking forward to having more time to myself. The long weekends of training are a big commitment, it pretty much wipes out the whole day after your long run, this can be challenging sometimes to fit around shifts and being away when travelling for work.

That being said, I learnt a lot about nutrition and my body training for the London Marathon, so I would aim to build speed and endurance and then enter a Half - I have eyes on the Great North Run. I loved the crowds, they were just incredible, a huge shoutout to the stranger who was giving out croissants. Having had breakfast at 6:00am and starting the marathon at 11:00am, I was very grateful. I also loved just how many people had come from all over the world to run The London Marathon, it was just incredible to run alongside them and hear their stories. I also found the pacers awesome; they were pure morale the whole way round!

I am very grateful to Places for helping me in my journey and to Dave for helping me with my personal training.

Lara Stevens

I had an absolute blast at the London Marathon. It was such an amazing day, the atmosphere was electric!

Would I do it again? Yes please!! I highly recommend it to anyone.

I decided early on in my training that this wouldn’t be a race, it was an experience and one I will never forget! I completed the marathon in 4 hours 55 minutes taking it all in.

Thank you to all the team at Wyre Forest Leisure Centre for their support, especially Tracey Lloyd for putting me through my paces on the spin bike and her conditioning classes, they’ve been tough!

You can learn more about all of our 25 Jogger’s Journey winners and why they ran this years marathon:

Our winners