Having had the chance to think about by experience today I'd like to share a few things I learnt with others thinking of participating in the marathon in the future:
* It is far more of an amazing spectacle than I ever thought it would be - crowds lined the 26m395yd route all the way - and the crowds cheering are great encouragement
* crowds near pubs cheer the loudest
* The music along the route is a tremendous boost - offering a couple of minutes respite from the physical toll of the running
* Lucozade Sport is not very nice - it's sweet and sickly and certainly does not quench your thirst - judging by the relatively full bottles discarded on the course others agree (I did not even think about trying Lucozade gel - it's here at home) - I was annoyed at having drunk this stuff as I had to wait about 10 minutes to get some water to get the nasty taste out of my mouth
* I prefer the sweets, biscuits, fruit provided by the people along the route to the 'technical' stuff offered by sponsors of the event - these sweets taste nice and appear to do some good!
* The first half of the race is very different to the second half
* The last 2 miles pass very quickly and the the last 800m even more so
* Having your name printed on your t-shirt means more cheers!
* Training helps
* The baggage deposit and retrieval system appears very efficient - do not worry about using it if you run in future marathons
* there is an enormous amount of waste from bottles - it would good if we could think about finding a way of reducing this.
* Your legs are still tired and achy after a few pints down the pub