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  Sunday, 22 April, 2001, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
The pain and the agony
Matt Slater and Noddy exchange views
Cartoon characters will haunt Matt Slater for a long time
BBC Sport Online's Matt Slater gives his frank views after running his first - and quite possibly last - London Marathon.

The 21st London Marathon was one too many for this brave front runner.

An unwise first half, coupled with serious bowel problems, put paid to any chances of a first British male winner since Eammon Martin in 1993.

However, a brave rearguard action - in every sense of the term - saw me stagger home in a personal best of three hours and 48 minutes.

Along the way, I was overtaken by Batman, a Captain Caveman and a Superman.

But Dennis the Menace and Gnasher are still eating my dust somewhere back in the Docklands.


I would sooner go Morris-dancing naked in Trafalgar Square for a week than run through Poplar again
BBC Sport Online's Matt Slater
Other notable scalps include five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steven Redgrave and former world heavyweight champion Frank Bruno.

The highlight of the race came at 21 miles when a Steppenwolf tribute band sang 'Go Matt, Go Matt, Matt, Matt' to the tune of Born to be Wild.

If someone asked me if I would ever run the race again, my answer would be this.

One cheese and tomato sandwich, a PG Tip Pyramid teabag and a t-shirt is nowhere near good enough for the pain I am in right now.

I would sooner go Morris dancing naked in Trafalgar Square for a week than run through Poplar again.

The Great White hope of British distance running has now retired to take up pigeon-racing.


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