Construction Sport London Marathon Trek 2024

by | Feb 20, 2024 | News | 0 comments

Liverpool Street Steve Construction Sport talk

Let me paint you a picture.

6:00am, Liverpool Street. The sun is yet to uncover itself from London’s unwavering tower blocks. A vague sense of anticipation fills the air, coupled with the disconcerting smell of double sausage and egg mcMuffins & hash browns – because that was evidently the best way for us to start a 26-mile long trek.

After some delighted greetings and rushed catch-ups, it was time to group up at the bottom of the steps outside Liverpool Street station (the starting point). With full bellies and little sleep, all participants gathered to listen to our founder and organiser of this event, Steve Kerslake, pretend to know what he was talking about before setting off at approximately 6:45am!

Clearly, the excitement got the better of some, because off the start we were moving at world record pace. But who can blame them? This was a classic Construction Sport event, what’s not to be excited about! Inevitably the ego-pace slowed right up, but we’ll get onto that later…

Down Old Broad Street we went, storming towards the river with the clearest water in England: the Thames, where a right turn just before Southwark Bridge saw us follow said river all the way to the Golden Jubilee Bridge. Though not crossing yet, instead, turning right opposite this bridge, meant we walked over to the long stretch of Pall Mall, and continued down to the one and only: Buckingham Palace.

The time was now 7:45am so we had reached the King’s Gaff in an hour. Which was pretty good going for 3.5 miles in. (I warned you about the pace.) We quickly re-grouped for a team picture outside the Palace, then soldiered on adjacent to Hyde Park for a fair few steps. No one had quite predicted how lovely of a day it was going to be; according to some, it was supposedly the warmest day of the year so far! With worries of chafing, it was at this point that layers were starting to come off. It was only about 8:30am but we’d been moving for 2 hours and it was already around 12 degrees. Told you it was warm!

‘Espress-Mo’ was the name of the designated little cafe for our coffee and snacks refreshments station! 9am, 7 miles in, and the team was feeling strong! And now with the backing of lovely weather and caffeinated bloodstreams, spirits were high and we were ready to push through to the next checkpoint: Richmond Park!

workers working together
helping out fellow construction worker

As pleasant as it was to come across such vast landscape in the middle of London, especially with the sun shining wonderfully over it for us, Richmond Park was the turning point for some: it had become apparent that this was going to be a proper challenge. We were 11 miles deep with some sore legs, bruised and blistering feet, but most significantly, harrowing thoughts of still having 15 miles left…

However, that’s what it’s all about. Keeping each other going, and encouraging those around you who are struggling more than others. Walking may seem like an individual task, but on our event days we make sure it becomes a team effort. People come together and chat away about things they may not usually chat about, with people they may have never met before, and that’s where our slogan ‘Building Teams, Saving Lives’ comes into full effect!

It’s now 12pm and we’ve hit the halfway mark! Decidedly so, a quick pit-stop to grab some lunch bits was in order at the Sainsbury’s Local in Putney, which admittedly disgruntled a few members who were looking forward to sitting down with some proper grub for a slightly longer break. However this wasn’t a school day out, we were here to complete a challenge. Therefore, standing around aimlessly on the pavement looking like a bunch of protesters, we munched down on our meal deal sandwiches and within 10 minutes we were moving again.

The next hour was tough. Lugging around full bellies, soreness and stiffness really coming into full force, and lots of plasters and compeed being used up. We were back on the Thames now, bypassing Fulham and Chelsea; given the situation, it was time for the previously-promised pub stop. It was noted that we were soon to be walking straight past a place called ‘The Waterside,’ and after not much convincing, this was declared as our halfway stop! (Despite the fact we were now 17 miles in…)

strong network of mates

Steve’s meticulous planning meant our pub stop at The Waterside was taking place right by the Thames in Chelsea. So once everyone had taken out a mortgage for their pints of Guinness, we sat down and marvelled at the sensation of air between our soles and the ground. Nonetheless, the alarming thoughts of 9 miles still to go and already feeling broken needn’t be mentioned, it was something we were just going to have to deal with. Half an hour later of pints enjoyed under the sun by the river, mind over matter was kicking in and people were geeing each other up for the final stages of this rather silly trek-around-London-for-a-marathon idea!

The plan now was to split this back 9 in half, so we pushed through the pain and followed the stunning river that is the Thames all the way down to Westminster. The re-group pit-stop point was a place called ‘St Stephen’s Tavern’ right outside Big Ben. This Stephen was certainly the only Saint of the day, providing refreshments and comfy seats, as opposed to the other Stephen whom everyone was regretting saying yes to about this trek…

helping out fellow construction worker

Despite the tough circumstances, we were all keeping our heads held high and the power of teamwork, camaraderie and banter was the glue that kept us from giving up. Besides, it was now 3:15pm and we were 21 miles in! “5 miles left!” Was the repeated phrase that echoed throughout the Tavern, we had walked a whopping 21 miles and there was now just 5 to go! We’re there! We can taste the finish! We can’t stop now!

With our positive mental attitude and using whatever energy we could find within ourselves after our much needed 2nd pub stop, we limped through central London knowing the end was so near. We followed the almighty Thames from Westminster Bridge, all the way down to Blackfriars Bridge where we crossed for absolutely no reason whatsoever. We engaged in more Thames-following, all the way to London Bridge where we then crossed back to the north side and turned right up Lower Thames Street.

A few more agonising steps was all that was left between us and the seemingly fabled finish. The sun had now begun its descent behind the infinite skyscrapers of the city, but everyone was jeering each other on, frantically checking Strava to see just how many more yards we had to put our bodies through. But eventually, a pub named ‘The Ship,’ situated not too far behind the Tower of London, was deemed far enough away for us to hit our marathon mark. And just mere minutes later, the group was altogether again, celebrating their massive achievement! Congratulations, handshakes, pictures and hugs filled the atmosphere, before getting the drinks in to enjoy a well deserved pint at the end of a hard-working, but no ordinary, day.

 

Almost 12 hours had passed since the group had departed Liverpool Street. The event took up the entire day: an entire day of good laughs and strenuous exercise. Of course, this had been one of the most challenging endeavours many of us had experienced. However I’ll say it again, that is what it’s all about. Challenging not just your body but your mind to keep going when everything else is screaming at you to stop. This trek proved to us all that even when you think you’re at your lowest, there’s always something in there that can get you to the finish line, even if you don’t know it. These treks strengthen your mind for real life situations, all whilst having a laugh with mates and strangers, and simultaneously keeping physically active too.

Building Teams, Saving Lives.

strong network of mates

A huge shoutout to all participants, you all completely smashed it and should be proud of such a feat! And a massive thank you as well to anyone who couldn’t make it on the day but was there in spirit and on socials! And of course to all of your donations too. We’ll see you on the next one 😉

Alex Davis – Construction Sport

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

Related Posts

0 Comments

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *