How to support me on the day

cheer

My family and friends have been amazing throughout my training, offering advice, support, gels, jelly beans, and shoulders to cry on.

I’m blown away that so many of you have asked how to cheer me on, either in person or via the interwebs. So to help you out, here’s my guide.

Cheering from the sidelines

A few of you have asked where to go to cheer me (and the other 36,000) runners on in person.

The London Marathon website has a useful guide for spectators here, as well as an interactive map.  If you’re coming to watch the marathon and were thinking of looking out for me, here’s a breakdown of (very roughly) where I think I’ll be when:

  • Mile 6 Cutty Sark: 11.00
  • Mile 12.5 Tower Bridge: 12.15
  • Mile 15-19 Canary Wharf: 12:45-13:30
  • Mile 22-23 Tower Hill: 14:00
  • Mile 25-finish 15:00

I could be slow or (unlikely) faster on the day, so for more accurate timings, you can check my progress using the online tracker service – details below. Tower Bridge is supposed to be an excellent spot to watch from, as you get to see the runners twice, at mile 12.5 and 22 – but do bear in mind it’s supposed to be very busy. Mile 15 and 18 is also a good spot from which to spot me twice, and also quieter than Tower Bridge (but not that quiet, as hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected on the route).

If you are planning to come down, try and pick somewhere reasonably specific (maybe via Street View?) and let me know in advance roughly where you plan to be so I can look out for you (I warn you in advance that I might cry when I see you… emotional stuff, is distance running).

If you do see me en route, I’d appreciate it of you’d snap a picture and tweet it with the hashtag #sharun.

The good news is, tomorrow looks set to be a lovely spring day in London.

Supporting me online

Many more of you have asked how you can follow my progress online. My attempts at live location tracking didn’t work out – the map embed worked, but I was let down on the day by lack of 3G coverage on the Reading Half route. With 36,000 runners and close to a million spectators on the marathon route, I expect the same will be true in London.

Fortunately, marathon organisers and sponsors have their own service for runner tracking which doesn’t rely on mobile coverage. Once the race begins, you’ll be able to enter my surname or race number (48871) on the London Marathon website (choose the ‘Track a Runner’ button), and it’ll show my times and speed at each 5km mark, giving you a rough idea of my progress.

This service will also auto-post on Facebook when I start, hit the halfway mark, and cross the finish line.

I’ll try and tweet on the way around, for so long as my battery lasts. Follow me @sharonodea. Your messages of support are hugely appreciated, and really have helped keep my spirits up as I’ve pounded the pavements these last five months.

I’m delighted that so many have sponsored me and my two colleagues. We’ve already smashed our £1200 fundraising target for Seeing is Believing; at the time of writing we’ve raised over £2700. With gift aid and matching, that’s enough to restore the sight of over 200 people. To find out more about Seeing is Believing and why I’m proud to support the cause, visit my Sponsor Me page. If you’ve been meaning to sponsor me and haven’t got around to it, now’s your chance.

Wish me luck!

Photo credit: Kashif Haque on Flickr

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