Supply chain company CEVA Logistics played a major part in the smooth running of the 31st London Marathon, taking care of and reuniting 35,000 runners with their belongings.
When tens of thousands of competitors sprinted, trotted or stumbled across the finish line in The Mall, they faced one final obstacle to find their kit bag. Luckily for them, CEVA and a group of volunteers were responsible for transporting the bags once again, collecting them from the three start points and ensuring they were easy to find at the finish line.
"This is the 18th year we've managed the baggage operation, and everything ran to plan," says CEVA's Senior General Manager, Alan Bell. "Each vehicle carries over 1,000 bags so the volunteers keep the bags in order. The competitors arrive at Blackheath and Greenwich Park from 7am but by 9.45am our drivers must be ready to leave. We used 41 vehicles, which traveled in convoy across central London to the finish line at the Mall, accompanied by a police escort."
So how does CEVA ensure the right bag is returned to the right runner? "Everyone was given a bag with the same number they ran with. They just found the truck displaying their number and their bag was handed over. At The Mall, the vehicles are parked and bags sorted into numerical order so the runners can easily find the truck with their bag."
CEVA's contribution did not end there, Corby-based Contract Manager, Andy Stratford crossed the line in five hours and 20 minutes raising 1,200 for Kettering General Hospital Children's Ward.
Over 35,000 runners reunited with their bags
Approximately 300 volunteers helping with the operation
Over 40 vehicles and 12 managers helped to transport the bags across London.