London Marathon Stepping off a plane from California just 24 hours before running arguably the most prestigious marathon in the world could hardly be regarded as the best preparation for the event, but volcanic ash clouds and delayed flights ...
Stepping off a plane from California just 24 hours before running arguably the most prestigious marathon in the world could hardly be regarded as the best preparation for the event, but volcanic ash clouds and delayed flights conspired against Marino on this occasion, and yesterday morning he found himself lining up at 9.45am at the "Green Start" in Greenwich before beginning his 26.2 mile run around the cheering and crowd lined streets of London.
Marino lined up at the start with 12 of his fellow BRDC (British Racing Driver Club) members including some fellow ALMS colleagues, Olly Gavin, Guy Smith, Darren Turner, Jonny Kane, Johnny Mowlem, Richard Westbrook, Andy Priaulx, Rob Barff, Marc Hynes, Peter Dumbreck, Charlie Hollings and Club Secretary, Stuart Pringle. Marino's jet lag had already kicked in at 2.00am during the night so he was wide awake for the start and his body clock was telling him it was time for dinner!
"It certainly wasn't the most ideal week of preparation, Mother Nature had other ideas, but set backs like that just make you more determined. The excitement of taking part really kicked in and carried me through and the advice that our team captain, Olly Gavin, gave me throughout the build up was priceless in helping me get the best out of myself. I can't tell you how amazing the atmosphere was at the start, it's tough to describe and should be experienced by everyone first hand".
Marino had set himself a target time of 3 hrs 30 mins to pound the streets from Greenwich to the finish in front of Buckingham Palace. It was not long after the start that the runners came upon their first famous landmark, the rebuilding of the Cutty Sark which appeared just 6 miles into the race, and by 12 miles Marino was running over probably the most famous landmark of all, London's Tower Bridge. His foray into the Docklands went well, but just as he was exiting the area, at the 21 mile mark, and heading towards the Tower of London renowned for punishing its inmates, Marino was being dealt his own punishment as his legs began to tell him he had already completed 7 miles more than he had ever run before!
But as all good endurance racers know, you don't give up because the tyres are wearing out, you keep pressing on. Along the Embankment, past the Houses of Parliament where the face of Big Ben was a reminder of the minutes ticking away, along Bird Cage Walk and finally into the Mall with Buckingham Palace ahead of him - and Marino stopped the clock at a very impressive 3:46.04 hrs.
"It was going so well up to the 21 mile mark and at that point I truly discovered what `hitting the wall' feels like and it was not pleasant! My training, in particular my running, for the marathon was far from ideal; it was the first time I had run more than 3 miles since before the Sebring race when I picked up a hip injury, and my first run ever over 14 miles, so I was delighted with the result and the feeling of getting to the end was very emotional. I'm so proud of my team mates, everyone under 4 hrs 30, but especially Olly who did an outstanding time. The crowd was like nothing I've ever seen, and really drove us on, it was even better than the Drivers' Parade in Le Mans, which I didn't think was possible. I'm very `heavy' in the legs today to say the least, but it was more than worth it and I'm so happy we could raise so much for a great cause like CLIC Sargent, thank you to each and every person that supported us with donations".
Donations rewarding the drivers for their outstanding achievements can still be received, and some very humorous and encouraging messages from some very famous names can be viewed at www.justgiving.com/BRDC-marathon-legends