London Marathon: Runners and supporters undeterred by Boston

2013-04-22 00:00

THE show must go on. This was the view of the more than 30 000 people who ran yesterday’s London Marathon in the English capital.

For South African runner Jateen Bhana, of Randburg Harriers Running Club in Johannesburg, it was a chance to get in more preparation ahead of this year’s Comrades Marathon in June.

There was never any doubt that this year’s edition of the London Marathon would go ahead after last week’s bomb attack in Boston, U.S., which claimed three lives, he said.

“We immediately got a response from the organisers that the race would go on,” Bhana told The Witness yesterday.

“When we got there, they gave us black ribbons and we observed 30 seconds of silence to remember what had happened in Boston,” he said.

Bhana was impressed with the support the runners were given as they made their way through the streets of London.

“The support was absolutely amazing. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. The place was packed, from the pavements right up to the pubs. The bombing in Boston did absolutely nothing to deter anyone from running this race.”

There were about 30 South Africans in his party of runners, he said, and there could have been more than 70 in total.

The camaraderie among the runners also impressed Bhana, who has three Comrades to his name and was running in his first international race.

“People supported and motivated one another. Someone said marathoners were the wrong people to attack, and that was proved today,” he said.

Having run his personal best, he said he had used the race as preparation for the Comrades, as well as a number of marathons in Johannesburg and Cape Town’s Two Oceans.

“I’m training with Bruce Fordyce and I’m working on getting a silver medal,” he said of this year’s up run.

• lunga.biyela@witness.co.za

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