London’s Marathon

Mo Farah, running his last Marathon, regularly talks of the support of Londoners pushing him forward on the streets and the track, naming it as one of the things he will miss most about the events. Like most sports, it’s the people who make it what it is. And the people came in their droves. They defied the miserable grey sky and driving rain, and shouted their arses off knowing they were in the presence of greatness. The pain etched on the faces of those at roughly the 18 mile mark was clear. This is the most difficult thing I’ve done in my life. But I’m too close to stop. I want to give up but I can’t. Help, I need somebody. At that point, take the crowd away and I’d guess 50% of runners would stop immediately, say the’d done their best, go home for a bath and a beer. Those on the sidelines wouldn’t have it. The runners were feeding off the crowd and vice versa. Such a beauty to behold.


I plotted up for a while on on a corner of the route where we had a great view, and close to what I thought was one of the on route commentators supplied by the organisers. His voice boomed out across the street, his encouragement clearly heard and appreciated by the runners, and after a volley of risqué comments, I took a closer look at the guy behind the microphone. He wasn’t part of the official organisation, he wasn’t paid by one of the sponsors, he was just a man with a portable speaker and mic who’d obviously been here since early doors to add his two pence to the day. I wonder how many runners he shoved through the wall that day.

I watched, listened, and smiled. Coor London aint too bad you know. Just as the runners have navigated their way through the ups and downs and climbs and bends of the Marathon course, we’ve navigated our way through change, upheaval, disappointment and loss. We’ve come out the other side, and I hope we’ve come out better. Cos we owe it to ourselves.

London hosts many of the worlds best events. Most of those ask you to choose a side, an allegiance, a political stance. What does the Marathon ask of you? To support fellow Londoners, to support fellow people. We are London, and we run together.

Carousel of Photos from the London 2023 Marathon below. If you would like to read our previous E-zine, ‘George Hillyard – Rising from the Ashes’, click here.

Mitch Panayis, Director East 15 Films