The marathon is a test of mental and physical endurance, and from blister plasters to what feels like gallons of water, runners need all the help they can get.
But women can sometimes face unique challenges when it comes to completing those 26.2 miles.
Periods, breast-feeding – or simply needing the loo – can seem like big obstacles on the way to that all important PB.
So this year, the London Marathon have pledged do what they can to make the race go as smoothly as possible.
Following on from last year’s announcement that pregnant or postpartum runners can defer their place for up to three years, it was revealed on Instagram that more support is coming for women in 2023.
The first of the changes is free period products, with tampons and towels being available at all medical stations, information points and changing rooms.
On a news update, it says there will also be ‘other useful bits and bobs you may need, such as hair ties and grips, breast pads, tissues and wet wipes’.
For any runner that has suddenly noticed their sweaty hair flowing freely due to a snapped bobble, this will be a godsend.
And, to make using the toilet easier and to avoid long queues when you’re aiming for that all important PB, there will be Peequal loos, aka female urinals.
‘Peequal’s co-founders Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane claim it’s six times quicker to use than a conventional loo – although there will still be plenty of these available for those who prefer them,’ the post reads.
The race this year will also see private areas for breastfeeding and expressing milk just before the halfway point and at the finish.
Representatives from parenting charity Best Beginnings, will be there to give support and advice too.
Clare Lyons-Collins, CEO of Best Beginnings, said: ‘By providing feeding and expressing tents, plus essentials like nipple cream and breast pads, we hope to support more women to get across the Finish Line.
‘We want to build on this initiative in future to encourage even more women to take part while breastfeeding.’
And, ahead of the big day at the TCS London Marathon Running Show, runners will be able to lap up information on running while on your period and training at different stages of your cycle, along with discussion about about exercise before, during and after menopause.
More information on this will be shared too.
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