The London Mini Marathon takes place less than an hour before the main event, the London Marathon itself. Comprised of 6 races, it provides an opportunity for young athletes to compete against their fellow athletes from the UK, on the last 3 miles of the London Marathon. Yet, despite this being its 33rd year, it receives next to no publicity.
     The Mini Marathon’s route starts from the monument, then follows the river to the Houses of Parliament; it then finishes on the Mall by Buckingham Palace. In order to compete, runners are selected, based on previous times for a similar distance. They come from the London boroughs, English counties, and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Female and male athletes run in 3 age categories: U13; U15; and U17. Runners can take pride in the area they’re representing as they’re given a t-shirt to race in with their region printed on it.
     The conditions were perfect for a 3 mile run last Sunday. Mrs Humphries, 82, who came to watch her grandson run, said “it was such an inspirational event, but I must confess I wasn’t aware of it before my grandson took part”. Henry McLuckie, representing the South East region, won the boys Mini Marathon this year with a time of 14:25, whilst Beatrice Wood from the South West won the girls’ with a time of 16:35. All the competing athletes, regardless of their final position, put a lot of time into training for this event. In recognition of this, all participants received a medal.
     It is wonderful to see how many great young athletes there are, yet it is disappointing that the athletes of the future do not receive more publicity. Hopefully in the future more awareness will be raised about this event in order to encourage larger numbers of young athletes to apply and participate.