Marissa At The London Marathon

A blog from intern Marissa on her day at the London Marathon

Marissa is a student from the United States and has been interning for I CAN before she returns home for the summer. Here she writes about her first experience at the London Marathon, and what it meant for her.

“Go, go, go, you can do it!” someone shouted to my left. All around, crowds of people from all walks of life lined the street, holding banners, balloons, singing, waving their noise makers and wearing shirts such as, “we love you Jamie!” to express their enthusiasm and support  for loved ones  at the London Marathon. The exceptional sunny day and blue sky created a buzz of excitement and energy. Waiting on the sidelines to support our runners, the I CAN team waited in anticipation at the 25 mile mark cheering point for our first runner to appear.

All around friends, family and staff cheered in encouragement as our runners and other participants struggled through the last few agonizing miles. Our team yelled, clapped and shouted our support to the mass of runners. “You’re so close!”, “Great job, keep going!”, “You’re a star!”—were some of the phrases bouncing around the crowd. As I looked around I couldn’t help smiling and feeling a sense of inspiration and warmth to those around me. I was so pleasantly surprised how in a city where people ‘don’t talk’ on the tube and kept to themselves on their daily journeys across London; how Londoners have come to together to support and cheer on their neighbour. Throughout the day as our runners passed us, we screamed in excitement and occasionally gave out hugs and candy. Staff and friends wore our iconic orange I CAN shirts and some even wore purple wigs (myself included). There was even a sighting of Olympic gold medallist and London native:  Mo Farah, who was a crowd favourite.

All in all, it was an amazing day at the marathon. The love and support emanated by everyone was truly sensational and astounding.  People did not only push themselves to the limit physically but for a good cause. It is in this light that the greater good and wellbeing of our society is supported by the contributions of the community. At I CAN – the staff is overly dedicated and passionate about the work and the difference they make for the speech, language and communication needs of children. The hard work (fundraising and training) of our runners helped to support this and aid in getting our message out there. We are overly grateful to our 23 marathon runners who pledged to raise at least £1,800 for I CAN (amazing!) and congratulate them for their amazing accomplishment.

If you would like to be a part of I CAN’s cheering squad and can volunteer some time at one of our upcoming challenge events then get in touch with Krista at kdixon@ican.org.uk. The crowd support really helps our runners and cyclists to the finish line, and you could be a part of this fantastic experience!