From Magical Mo to Sue from Stevenage (there must be a Sue in Stevenage), last week’s Virgin London Marathon saw over 40,000 athletes run, jog and painstakingly trudge their way around 26 miles of our famous capital’s streets. The world’s single largest annual fundraiser and most-famous marathon was basked in a rare British spring sunshine that set a new record for the temperature at a London marathon of 23.2 degrees. The scintillating midday sun may have produced a few extra beads of sweat from the athletes but it did at least bring the cheering crowds out in their thousands, enthusiastically banging those annoying blow-up clappers that are enough to get anybody running away.
But the heat wasn't the only aspect that reached new heights; this year’s marathon also saw the most applications in history – with over 380,000 competitors eager to take part. With only 40,000 spaces available, this meant there were more unsuccessful applications than the selectors from The Apprentice, First Dates and XFactor could shake a blow-up stick at.
If that was you or if you’ve been inspired by all those rhino outfits, wobbly dragons and even a guest appearance from the Jamaican bobsleigh team (yes, really), fear not! We have scoured the Greater London landscape for the best sporting events this summer whether you’re a runner, swimmer or cyclist because it’s the taking part that counts, right?
What: Royal Windsor Half Marathon
Where: Windsor, surprisingly (South West London)
When: Sunday 20th May and/or Sunday 30th September
With the Royal wedding in town just 24 hours before, you can celebrate in your own royal way before the ink has even dried on the marriage contract and whilst Prince Harry’s still nursing his hangover. This very family-friendly, fun run circles the beautiful grounds of Windsor, under the shadow of Windsor Castle, where Harry and Meghan will tie the knot. Once the honeymoon period is over and the ink is no longer settling on a marriage contract but maybe a divorce bill, you can also or either take part on the 30th of September as wonderful Windsor finishes the summer the way it started with another Half Marathon.
What: Prudential Ride London
Where: Starting in London’s Olympic Park, through Surrey and ending on The Mall.
When: Sunday 29th July
If you thought you’d missed out on experiencing the elation of crossing the finish line on The Mall after having done a grueling, exhausting major sporting event around London, then fear not? A lasting legacy from the incredibly successful London Olympics, Ride London’s annual event comes in either a 46-mile or 100-mile circuit. Starting on the closed roads of Central London and snakes through the sleepy villages of the Surrey countryside including the famous Box hill, before heading through Wimbledon, Putney and finishing in front of the most famous Royal building in the world. (P.S. Keep your eyes peeled for Vive’s very own Louis who signed up on for the 100m version on a whim and a prayer whilst researching for this blog).
What: Marlow Classic River Swim
Where: Marlow, South Buckinghamshire
When: Sunday 24th June
If you’re like the proverbial ‘duck to water’ and would rather be swimming along The Thames, than running or cycling through the streets, then this is the event for you. Now in its ninth year, the Marlow Classic River Swim is an annual favourite whose favourable conditions make it an ideal event for a first open-water swim. There are two distances (1.5km or 3km) for you to choose from, a great riverside atmosphere to spur you on and surely (come on, sun) some good weather to dry off in afterwards. As this is the UK, please note, this is not a Vive guarantee!