We made it to London!
(Check out my Brooks London shoes above. I don’t normally run in Adrenalines, but I just had to buy a pair. I figure I can use them for short, easy runs or just for walking around.)
Here’s a closer picture. It’s a map of the underground!
Anyways, our flight was Thursday night at 10 pm. Flying direct from Minneapolis, we arrived at noon London time. We grabbed our bags and caught the ‘tube’ to our hotel, arriving around 2:30 pm. Our friend Craig, who is also running the marathon, met us at our hotel to head to the expo.
I slept a bit on the flight, but was definitely tired. It helped to keep moving and I’m glad we went to the expo on Friday instead of Saturday (when it would have been much busier.)
The expo was held at the ExCel, which is a conference center in East London. It was a bit of a longer train ride from our hotel (the Intercontinental Park Lane <– awesome hotel!) but the London underground is pretty easy to navigate.
There were separate lines for the overseas runners. In fact, all overseas/foreign runners are in the “blue” zone for the race, which means we actually have a separate starting area! Within the blue zone, there are multiple corrals, i.e. I am in corral 4, Dustin is in 2, and our friend Craig is in 3. So at least the three of us will be able to hang out together before the race until we have to split into our separate corrals.
It was easy to pick up our bibs and that make our way through the rest of the expo. By the way, while waiting in the overseas line, a guy approached Dustin and said he recognized him from races in Minneapolis. Small world.
After getting our bibs, we had to go to a separate area to get our timing chips. They scanned our packets and THEN gave us our chips.
When we went through that line, one of the volunteers said to Craig, “oh Minneapolis, eh? That’s where that dentist is from, right?” We were a little confused at first..”Dentist?” “Yeah, the one that killed the lion.”
Oh great. Minneapolis is known to Londoners as the city with the lion-killing dentist!
The official London merchandise was next at the expo and we were all surprised to find out that the London jackets are virtually the exact same as the Boston jackets! I had no idea, but apparently this is the way it is every year. Fun new fact for this girl!
I had a bit of a panic attack while at the expo. My Garmin’s clasp had broke earlier, apparently on the flight over. I thought I still had it on and panicked when it was no longer on my wrist at the expo, thinking it had fallen off on the train. I was debating whether I would buy a new one at the expo or run Garmin-less. Running without my watch wouldn’t have been the worst thing for this race, especially because I’m running it for “fun.” But I can’t lie, I like having the data afterwards. But then I thought more about it and realized (hoped!) that I had left it in our hotel room…which I did. Whew! I do have to duct tape it tomorrow for the race though. $250-$300 SAVED by not buying a new one. Its about $20 to buy a new band on Amazon, so I’ll do that instead.
We were at the expo for about an hour. It was pretty big, well organized, and had lots of interesting vendors (and lots of fun photo ops- look at that medal!)
There was a big sign to write good luck to your runners:
After we returned from the expo, Dustin and I went for a quick run through Hyde Park.
Of course, it was raining. It IS London, right?
A rainy run through London in my Brooks London shoes. How fitting.
We just missed President Obama at Kensington Palace. He was there visiting earlier in the day. (Did you see the CUTEST picture of Obama with Prince George? Adorable!)
Hi Kensington Palace!
Post- rainy run, we eventually made our way to dinner at the nearby Prezzo, a lovely Italian restaurant. I was proud that we stayed up until 10 pm before crashing hard. I shared tips in this post about dealing with jet lag; a run usually helps as well as trying your best to ‘pretend’ you’re on the right schedule, which means not napping even if you want to!
Today (Saturday) we went for another short run through Hyde Park, enjoyed a tasty breakfast at our hotel (included as part of our package with Marathon Tours) and are relaxing a bit before taking a short Sandemann’s walking tour. I know that you’re not supposed to be on your feet too much before the race, but we need to explore a little bit, right? Can’t just sit in our hotel room all day!
Actually I’m not too concerned about walking too much since I’m not racing tomorrow but Dustin is little more cognizant of it.
I’ll leave you with one last picture of this adorable duck in Hyde Park…I love all the beautiful birds there- swans, coots, ducks, and today we even saw some parrots (they were there for a photo shoot, but still cool!)