On Your Marks, Get Set, Go! The Virgin London Marathon 2012

Each year, as around 35,000 runners start the grueling 26-mile course around the streets of London, they are wished good luck by a mass display of tethered hot air balloons. For the last 3 years, this display is organised on behalf of the Marathon by Airship & Balloon Company and it has become a real feature of the start line gaining mass television coverage, print media and in recent years the social media platforms (e.g. Twitter).

I was there this year working for Airship & Balloon Company tethering the Lucozade cloudhopper and while wind conditions on the surface were faster than you would ideally like, especially for tethering a one-man balloon where the basket is replaced by a seat, at no point did they become unsafe.

The balloons were inflated for approximately 2 hours, allowing for coverage of all races. One the most amazing sites to me though, is the speed with which the start line is dismantled once the race has begun. Less than an hour after the race has started and the roads are clear to allow the traffic to move freely again. It really is impressive.

Video Montage Of The BBC Once Coverage Showing The Hot Air Balloons Tethering

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Photographs © Richard Allen 2012

Posted on by 5WC in Hot Air Ballooning First Edition

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