"Football is not a matter of life and death, it is more important than that."
London Marathon 2016The Virgin Money London Marathon is one of my absolute favourite sports events of the year. Sadly this year I was restricted to watching it on TV from home. Great to see Tatyana McFadden win the women’s wheelchair race for the 4th year in a row. Also strong performances by Wilson Kipsang (fifth in men’s race) and by Ernst van Dyk (4th in the men’s wheelchair). 2016 was a bit disappointing for Wilson, who had a fall. He tweeted afterwards: "It was a good race and I felt okay. I fell down at 10k and the leg was getting painful after 25k.
Wilson once told me: "When I read the Bible, especially Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Just reading that word and believing that it is the truth helps me. So when it comes to training or running a race, I believe I can do all things - not through my power - but through Christ who strengthens me. And that is something that gives me a positive feeling that I can do something through Christ who strengthens me - it's wonderful, wonderful. So faith has helped me so much and when it comes to social life and knowing how to live with people, how to make peace with everyone and to relate to everyone because I know that really pleases God".
The Elite men with Wilson Kipsang on the rightTatyana McFadden won London for the fourth year running.
Tatyana wins a close race from Manuela Schar of Switzerland.
Talking to Tatyana at a previous marathon
Tatyana told me: "I have always been a believer in God and Jesus and I definitely believe that more since I came to the USA and definitely got involved in religion. I learned at a young age through going to church that I had survived a lot of tough things in my life. And in those tough times I knew that God was with me and that he had plans for me later in life". I met Ernst van Dyk at a previous London Marathon. He told me that London does not really suit him as there are two many twists and turns. He has had more success in Boston, winning there nine times. He told me: "I am a Christian. When you have been dealt the cards I have been dealt in life, you have to make sense of it. Faith is one of the ways to do that. To have an understanding with your maker and to figure out what is your purpose in life".
Ernst is on the right
And by the way did you know that there were 36 clergy running?
Other 2016 images
And they are off!
When you reach Big Ben you are nearly home
Crossing Tower Bridge
Junior winners with Kare Adenegan, right front row
Jemima Sumgong wins the women's race.Photos courtesy of Virgin Money London Marathon