We’ve been working with London Marathon Events (LME) for around 18 months, and it’s one of the most engaging and rewarding partnerships.
At AKD Solutions, we believe in developing deep relationships with our clients to understand what they do. So, our CEO, Akin Thomas, cheekily asked if he could come along on the day of the iconic race and get a sense of how things worked in the engine room. LME responded with a “yes,” but with a twist. “If you want to really understand, we’ll give you the unenviable role of being Hugh Brasher’s runner”.
This didn’t mean that Akin would be running the marathon; he would be there to support Race Director Hugh, throughout the process. Akin was literally bouncing off the walls with excitement when he heard the news, whilst colleagues were praying for him.
The day started in the pitch dark, at 5:30 AM, as Akin headed to the start line in Lewisham. Normally, the race is in April, so the ambience of those first hours was different from the usual experience.
Akin worked with Hugh throughout the day, sometimes struggling to keep up as Hugh can walk quickly! Akin tried hard not to lose him, though once or twice Hugh managed to give him the slip! But it was an incredibly moving day, feeling the anticipation of thousands and thousands of runners and seeing the support of hundreds of thousands of people along the route.
The complexity of the day cannot be overstated. What London Marathon Events do is truly incredible. The level of detail, the innumerable moving costs, the never-ending risks that are being managed. Enabling over 36,000 runners to take part in a COVID safe, mass participation event is truly mind blowing.
The THREE things Akin took away from this are:
1) The fact that a small core team can undertake such an iconic event is truly amazing. Very few organisations could successfully achieve what these guys do.
2) The London Marathon unifies people in a very special way. Millions of people have a personal connection with the marathon, whether you ran, you donated, you supported or you benefited from the efforts of a partcipant.
3) Akin stood just behind the finish and watched people crawling, falling and limping across that line. What struck him was the pain that people are willing to endure for something they believe in. He said, “That will never leave me”.
To the team at London Marathon Events, we salute and thank you for the privilege of enabling AKD Solutions to be part of the day. We know the plan is to make the marathon more diverse and a true reflection of London, and we look forward to partnering with you on this journey.
Photo by Akin Thomas
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