London Marathon: Celebrity has its pluses, but we're all equal on the road

Wowing Nell McAndrew and Sue Barker with his sartorial elegance was only one of the highlights of Adrian Chiles' 26.2-mile ordeal

Enjoying some kind of celebrity status confers one or two benefits, but none greater than the use of one of the VIP areas at the start of the London Marathon. Don't believe all you hear about the secret of running a decent time being about putting the miles in.

Enjoying some kind of celebrity status confers one or two benefits, but none greater than the use of one of the VIP areas at the start of the London Marathon. Don't believe all you hear about the secret of running a decent time being about putting the miles in.

It certainly helps but, on the day, it's all about bowel management - just ask Paula. The queue for the toilet at Maze Hill station was about 30-deep. Imagine, then, the joy when the fragrant Sue Barker pointed me in the direction of a toilet with no queue outside it at all. And as an added bonus, just as I was making my way towards this cubicle, Nell McAndrew slipped into the one next to it. Finally, I felt as if I'd arrived.

Wearing a large bird-suit (as Baggie Bird, the West Brom mascot) to run the marathon has its advantages, too. For one thing, the likes of Sue, Nell, Lorraine Kelly and Gordon Ramsay all showed an interest in me and engaged me in conversation. For another thing, almost every runner encourages you as they pass, as do thousands and thousands of spectators, as you pass them.

From the camaraderie of the runners, my favourite comment, after about 18 miles, was: "Bloody hell! Running in that? Respect." From the crowd - and what a crowd - the best ones were along the lines of "come on Adrian, you're doing well son, and the Baggies are staying up!" Fantastic. Each one of those was worth another five minutes off my finish time.

The only problem was that I was determined to raise my arm/wing to acknowledge every shout from the crowd. Hence, I was in the peculiar position of finishing a marathon with the feet fine, my legs OK, but my shoulders on fire.

Words cannot describe the moment I turned up The Mall to see the most beautiful sight in the world: Sue Barker. And next to her, the finish line. Four hours and thirty-four minutes sweating cobs in a bird-suit being loved by total strangers. Wonderful.

To contribute to Adrian Chiles' appeal, go to: www.justgiving.com/sunfieldchildren

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Recruitment Consultant

competitive + incentives + uncapped comms: SThree: Did you know? 98% of our di...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Did you know? 98% of our directors started with SThree as...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sa...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Sales Executive - OTE £28,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen