Relentless rain pelted runners racing today’s bespoke peripatetic London Marathons. This was the event like no other in living memory. Covid-19 had caused the normal spring date to be postponed until now. Only elite runners were able to compete in the capital city, on a revised route tailored just for them. All other competitors were invited to measure out their own routes which to follow in their home areas.

Our nephew-in-law, Andy ran from his home in Shirley, a suburb of Southampton, to the green outside the historic Chequers Inn on the outskirts of Lymington. Various friends and relatives tracked him and applauded along the way. His cycling escort, friend Jonathon, would have been in the elite race, but has injured a foot. Elizabeth e-mailed me these images of the start.

We gathered first at Lyndhurst’s Bolton’s Bench.

Bedraggled ponies and their attendant crows trotted or foraged. Ella said “I like horses”; Elizabeth tracked progress on an app thingy; rain pelted the puddles.

and was cheered on by friends and daughter standing in rainy puddles.

The next meeting point was Denny Wood where the hero of the day, after 13 miles was looking fresh and relaxed as he waved to his supporters, before trotting off through the forest. Have I mentioned the rain?

The route continued along Beaulieu Heath. We gathered at

the Norleywood car park, as wet as everywhere else,

then waited on the main road. Take note of the two leading friends,

who happily gatecrashed this stage of the journey.

By Boldre Lane runner and escort had been joined by Andy’s brother, Richard, offering encouragement for the last few miles.

We all gathered at the finish. Elizabeth sent me the last of these pictures.

Andy and Jonathon, accompanied by Richard, hove into view

and the hero was given a warm welcome.

Elizabeth came home with us afterwards where, for a late lunch, we all enjoyed Jackie’s chicken stoup followed by her apple pie and ice cream.

Later in the evening Jackie and I dined on egg mayonnaise sandwiches with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz.