Seven types of people to look out for at the London Marathon

Written by
Alex Foch

Want to witness history in the making? It’s the thirty-seventh London Marathon this weekend so make sure you get down early with a collapsible chair and a packed lunch to catch a glimpse of these fascinating running types.

The Mufti Day Runners

Alongside queueing, 8C barbecues and saying sorry when sorry is the last thing that you intend to say, dressing up is one of our national sports. London Marathon runners therefore have a God-given right to look utterly ridiculous in the name of Britishness. Previous marathons have witnessed a man lugging around a 42kg fridge on his back, human telephone boxes and countless mankinis that left precious little to the imagination. This year, we’re expecting a sea of orange botox and hairpieces that resemble frozen strands of piss.

The Five Minutes of Fame Runners

Some people will do anything to get into the spotlight, whether that be faking a kidnapping, starring in a sex tape or just making an excruciatingly bad viral video. Marathon runners can join in on the action by making a lung-bursting effort at the beginning of the race to be amongst the leading pack. Keep your eyes peeled for those passing out, although you’ll probably see re-runs on TV as it’s shown in almost 200 countries worldwide. Not to mention the countless memes.

The Golden Oldie Runners

These absolute troopers have been tearing up the London Marathon since Roxy Music was Number One in the charts, the wreck of the Titanic was found and IBM launched their first PC back in 1981. While the younger racers may breeze past them in the opening few miles, there is still the very real chance that they’ll overtake later on, hare-and-tortoise style. 

The Tech Nerd Runners

Armed with pressure-sensitive socks that can send data to their smartphone and watches that simply know too much about you, these Robocop lookalikes cannot wait to show off their latest gear. When they are not receiving ten-second updates on their heart rate and when they will next need to nip to a Portaloo, they’re bragging about the number of microcapsules in their shoes.

The Social Media Addict Runners

The warning signs have been coming for months with every training session eagerly documented on multiple outlets. Nothing could really prepare the resigned followers on the day of the event as the addict in question strives to break the 200 like barrier by whetting their audience’s appetite with a five-hour long Facebook Live extravaganza. Don’t their arms get tired from holding a selfie stick for so long?

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The Elite Runners

These speedsters are the only group that actually enjoying the running experience, and are usually in the midst of a packed schedule of four marathons across four different continents in a week. They are barely visible to the untrained eye and will probably have started the next marathon by the time most mere mortals have their first stitch at mile seven. 

The Hungover Mess Runners

After a relatively intense training period with a strict alcohol ban, the hungover runner has woken up on the morning of the big day with a technicolour yawn after that quiet pint to soothe the pre-run nerves escalated. The idea behind the London Marathon originated in a pub, after all. If you do encounter a hungover runner, pass them a beer or a pair of shades and let them know that there’s no shame in doing a Paula. It might brighten their day.

Check out where to watch the London Marathon.

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