From the Olympians and Paralympians to the people in fancy dress raising thousands of pounds, the London Marathon is an inspiration in itself, but with the Olympics 98 days away, it also marks the start of a fantastic summer of sport.
This is your fourth London Marathon. What keeps you coming back?
It’s just such a special occasion. Every time I cross the line I think ’never again,’ but then I’m back on the phone on the Monday asking if I can do it again.
Is it anymore special with the Olympics coming up?
Actually, I think the London Marathon is such a special occasion that it would be this exciting if it were 2011 or 2013. It’s just such an incredible thing. But, of course, you can’t ignore the fact that the Olympics is coming up and there’s already a real buzz about London.
Is the brilliant atmosphere at the London Marathon an indication of what’s going to make the Olympics so special?
Absolutely. The scale of the Park is vast. I was there yesterday and the crowd wasn’t very large, but it was still really buzzing. I’ve only had great experiences at the Olympics and I can honestly say as an athlete that I used to love racing in the UK at places like Crystal Palace and Gateshead. The fans are just really passionate. Even people who might not be into sports are going to get caught up in it.
Don’t you wish you were still running?
Totally. I wish I was 10 years younger and still running. I think any British athlete who doesn’t raise their game and get the best out of themselves doesn’t deserve to pull on the vest. There’s no greater incentive than the positive pressure of the crowd calling your name. Can you imagine? ‘In lane four, running for Great Britain…’ It’s going to be awesome. I wish I was still competing!
What advice do you have for Londoners who don’t have any tickets?
It’s a real shame if they don’t have tickets, but I’m sure there will be plenty of big screens up in addition to going to your local bars and pubs. The atmosphere is going to be amazing in the city, so just get involved and embrace it!
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