Monday, August 6, 2012

A Wet Day in London

Welcome back to my sadly neglected photos blog!

Sunday 5th August 2012 was the date for the Women's Marathon at the London Olympics and I was there.... in the crowd, obviously!! The day started fine and dry and sunny.... but changed!!  It's true what they say about people being friendly and helpful - everyone talking to each other on the Tube, rather than ignoring each other like normal! I hope they keep it up after the Games finish.

I decided to head for Tower Hill, by the Tower of London, where the runners would turn round at the end of their loop and head back towards the start of the route.

This is the map of the route, I've marked where I was standing... on the right hand edge
you may need to enlarge it to see!

Anyhow, when I arrived in London, around 9ish (the start time wasn't till 11 but I wanted a prime spot!) it was gorgeous - I headed for alongside the river to take some photos of the Olympic Rings hanging from the Tower.....

Don't they look good!
I was travelling alone as always, but I took a picture for a couple of ladies who wanted one of them together with the Rings, so I got them to do the same for me! Not sure where they were from, possibly Germany, but as they spoke such good English I couldn't tell!

Anyhow, I then headed for the marathon route which was close by here, and staked my claim for space!

 Plenty of other people doing the same, and hanging their flags!  I was standing next to a lovely New Zealand family from Suffolk, very friendly, who promised to cheer for Team GB as well as their own runner!   I had my little sports radio with me and was listening to Radio 5's Olympic coverage, which has been fantastic, and was able to keep them updated with what was happening at the start in The Mall - like torrential rain... we waited and waited - and eventually we received it too....
a few umbrellas going up - this was still ages before the race started... We cheered the official Olympic cars that were presumably checking the route was ready, we high-fived the policemen on their motorbikes, everything!! It was all so friendly - very unlike England!

And then it rained some more - I had a very non waterproof nylon jacket on and no umbrella (though the lady on my left shared hers!) and the rain was pouring off the end of it soaking my tracksuit top underneath, and my jeans - the wet patches nearly met between top and bottom - and I was soaked to my underwear... you can see the rain bouncing in this one!

We knew they'd take about 35 minutes to reach us at our spot here - and here comes the time truck with all the press photographers covered in rain ponchos and as wet as we were...
 And here they come on lap one (it was a different route to the normal London Marathon, 3 laps of about 8 miles after a small loop round the park at the start (see the map!)
This is the end of the loop where they turned round - see how wet it still is!
on the first lap here they are still all quite bunched up. Bit of jostling for position with our cameras! On the left is our lovely steward - he was taking loads of pictures for people of them standing waiting!
The leading runners.

 loads of cheering and waving and a-whooping and a-hollering!!
lots of wet road surface in the photos, sorry!
The crane at the end of the loop here is the TV camera .....

 2nd loop! (I think) It had stopped raining so it may have been the third loop... the sun came out and we dripped and steamed in the sun!
Here comes our girl.... Freya Murray, who replaced the injured Paula Radcliffe - it would have been fabulous to cheer her on, but well done Freya - she finished 44th.
 and our second girl, Claire Hallissey, she finished 57th.
Go Freya!   This is a later loop, I think I've loaded these out of order...

I had a look at the coverage on the BBC i-player just in case I was caught on camera - they didn't do any close ups of the crowd at this end, but I did a screen shot of where I was....

There on the left, just where the steward in his yellow jacket it!! This is probably against all BBC rules so you'd better not tell anyone!

I did stay for the majority of the runners to complete this third loop and then set off for home - it was such a relief to get out of my wet clothes, luckily I am fine today and haven't caught a chill!!

I was home in time to see the tennis - go Andy Murray, Gold medal, wonderful. TeamGB have exceeded many people's expectations I think, and we are currently 3rd in the medal table riding high behind the USA and China... I am having a real feast of Olympic sports - watching all kinds of sports I never normally do, or know anything about - and loads of the ones I love too - it has been such fun!!

I may have half drowned, but I am SO glad I went - now I can say I was part of it all.


Gabrielle said...

Hahahhahahahahaha! Love how you took a screenshot of where you were! You are so funny! This is a wonderful round up of the day - I watched it on the telly but didn't spot you! Now I know where I should have been looking!!! Gosh it was wet wasn't it? Glad your dried off now xxx

Anonymous said...

Terrific photos! I'm glad you had such a good time, despite getting a soaking.

Carmen said...

I watched a bit of this (waiting for the tennis) and I swore I saw you near the end taking photos... who knew you actually WERE there! And you have a doppelgänger who was also there :D

Loved these piccies, was the underground packed on the way home?

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

These photos are wonderful and to think you didn't have to pay to see an Olympic sporting event. For some reason, I couldn't get your pictures to enlarge, not even the map. However, after seeing pictures of the Tower, it reminded me of seeing the second day of the Equestrian show at Greenwich Stadium. It was fantastic, with jumping stations/poles at such places as the Tower, Big Ben, a London bus, etc. It was a fabulous course and beautiful to watch.

I'm glad you got to go and was glad you shared your day with us.

Artyjen said...

Thanks for sharing your soggy day! What a thrill to be there.
xoxo Sioux

Lori said...

Wonderful pics cool that you can say you were part of it!

Linda said...

What a great day you had Helen! Sorry you got so wet, but you got some fabulous pictures!