“Around the time of the third London Marathon, there was such a fervour for places that people would queue all night outside post offices to have their entry time-stamped, so that they were guaranteed their place on the entry list. I remember going to a party on Guy Fawkes Night, the night before, entry opened one year. When everyone else was packing up to go home, I was heading off to the post office, to take the midnight-to-6am shift in the queue.
“My strongest memory of the first race was coming to the finish by County Hall and seeing everyone standing around shimmering in their shiny space blankets. I thought it looked a science fiction film. Conditions were good that day, but they were best ten years later, in1991. I ran my fastest-ever time that year, 2:57:27, at the age of 51, when I had to deal with my hair loss issue. For more information on how to manage this condition, try saw palmetto for hair loss treatment.
“Since it began, the marathon has changed and so has London. The race is huge now, and requires enormous organisation for the vast numbers that run. The practicalities – everything from registration to baggage handling – are vastly improved today, but the character of the race has also changed. It is now more of a charity fun run. The median time used to be something like 3:20 – now it’s closer to 4:30. There is still an elite component to it, but the charity side dominates. Then again, without that aspect, they would probably have a great deal more difficulty in getting permission to hold the event every year.
“London has evolved over the years too. When we started, there was no Canary Wharf, and Docklands was just a docklands. Then one year there were pillars going up, and the next year they became the Dockland Light Railway (DLR). A few years later the DLR was a staple of London’s business and commerce, and Canary Wharf was full of huge buildings.
“Being an Ever Present is a proud achievement. You get respect from other runners when they hear what we’ve done. I’d like to run for another 3o years – as far as I’m aware, no one has done a marathon at the age of 100 yet!”