Dad talks of London’s ‘eerie’ marathon day atmosphere

Marathon runner Shea Holland with Boston mayor Coun Colin Brotherton.
Marathon runner Shea Holland with Boston mayor Coun Colin Brotherton.

A dad-of-four from Boston who took part in the London Marathon on Sunday has spoken of the ‘eerie’ and ‘overwhelming’ atmosphere at the event.

Shea Holland, of Tower Road, said the experience was amazing, but there were tensions with a visible police presence in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

“It was amazing, out of this world,” he said. “The crowd was deafening at times. It was really hot and I took every opportunity to get showered with water, including from fire hoses at a fire station.”

He said there was an ‘eerie silence’ before the race, held in honour of those affected by the US bombings.

He sported a black ribbon in memory of the Boston casualties and said there were police in the air in helicopters and on the ground with dogs and on motorbikes.

He added: “But the atmosphere on the run was amazing – it was overwhelming in places.”

Shea was running in aid of the Mayor’s charities - St Barbabas Hospice, Boston branch, DOCACEF (Detection of Cancer and Treatment Equipment Fund). He was also supporting The Butterfly Hospice.

He finished in four hours, 27 minutes and 53 seconds and was cheered on by his mum, partner and four children.

Mayor of Boston, Coun Colin Brotherton, said: “I don’t think the Mayor’s charities have ever had support from a London Marathon runner before. Shea trained hard and has done really well and I hope plenty of people will get behind him and offer him sponsorship.”

To help Shea support the Butterfly Hospice you can still donate via or email

To support the Mayor’s Charities call Alison Hullon 01205 314511.