‘I broke the record for fastest marathon as a fruit’: Stories of running the London Marathon – The Times

‘I broke the record for fastest marathon as a fruit’: Stories of running the London Marathon  The Times

LONDON MARATHON

From setting world records to running for the ones you love, readers share their stories of taking part in the London Marathon, from 1981 to today

Times readers share their experiences running the London marathon

Hannah Davenport

The Times

Roley Sykes, 70

I ran in the first London Marathon in 1981. Back then, running was not normal. Until I arrived at the start I had had no contact with any other runners and my training programme was cut out from The Observer and pinned on the fridge. On weekends I did my long runs on the roads around Milton Keynes and cars would stop and stare. I ran in old-fashioned plimsolls until I heard of the one and only dedicated running shop in Richmond, London. Everyone I knew thought I was mad.

I started because I was desperate to give up smoking but I was told running was bad for me and would stuff up my knees and hips. The sport has kept me