We talked about attending the men’s marathon well ahead of the London 2012 Olympic games. But we didn’t actually decide to go until yesterday morning.
The sun was shining, and I decided that I would get more satisfaction from going to the Olympics when I had a chance than spending a dull, comfortable day at home with a happy toddler. So, we inhaled some breakfast, slapped together some snacks and hit the road.
We emerged at Bank station about 20 minutes before the runners were expected to pass for the first time. There was music and lots of people and – best of all – no cars!
I’m less pushy than Europeans, so I didn’t get great photos of the runners. But it was fun to join in cheering on the athletes as they ran past, just 1/4 of the way into their route. (It’s possible the winner, Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich, is to the right of this photo, but I didn’t capture his jersey or number clearly enough to be sure!)
It was quite clearly time to feed the toddler after they passed, so we wandered along the route toward the Tower of London in search of an open restaurant. We found one near the Tower, where we intercepted the runners at about the one hour mark. A group of drummers started playing, the crowd started roaring, and we decided to endure a few more angry toddler moments to take in the festive atmosphere.
We weren’t able to see the runners at all, partly because of the people in front of us, but mostly because they were so small! I don’t know why I’m always surprised to discover that athletes and famous people aren’t all the size of linebackers.
The festivities inspired us to split a milkshake with the little guy. We regretted it 30 minutes later when we were greeted with a massive sugar crash that coincided with nap time… while we were trying to get photos at Tower Bridge. This is as good as it got:
We were then those people with the screaming child. My husband managed to strap him into the baby backpack without us being reported to authorities. He calmed down as we walked to the tube, and was super-chill the whole hot, crowded train ride back to Epping. Then he and I both passed out in the car.
Anticipating a toddler meltdown when we made the decision to go meant that the day went pretty much as expected. I’ll take it; we saw the Olympics! And just in time. What are we going to watch on TV now?
Note: All photos are my own and may not be used in any way without permission.