Many thanks to Ben Martin fior the following report:
With the weather being kind to us on the Sunday and living only a 5 minute drive away from the start line I left what I thought would be plenty of time but ended up being stuck in a queue all the way to the Sixways Stadium. After parking my car and a gentle jog /sprint to the start line with a few minutes to spare from original start time as we were delayed by 15 minutes so more people could park their cars & get to the start line in time.
With this being my first Marathon and not having run a half before a bit of nerves kicked in during the wait to start running with over 1200 other people.
Before the race I had a plan on what time I was looking for and what pace I wanted to run at for the first half & the second half of the marathon. With not as much long distance run training in me in the lead up to the race as I would have liked due to injury, illness, hockey, bike & swim training & life. I got as much as I could in and felt great as I headed off into the unknown.
The first lap I felt great – my legs were running smooth and making sure I drank at every water station & got an energy gel down me every hour I did the first 13 miles in around 1 hr 40 mins. I felt great at this point and was on target for my rough finish time of 3:45. As I was coming up to mile 15 I decided to slow my pace down a bit as I soon realized I might have gone a bit hard for the first lap and all the hills I have just run up with ease may not be so easy on the second lap.
As I came up to the 18 mile mark and going into the unknown of distance I have run before, my early pace soon started to get the better of me as the spring in my step with fellow runners around me started to go. My pace dropped off as the field of runners stretched out, with only just shy of 200 people completing the full distance.
As I started to climb yet another hill it seems around the 21 mile mark I felt cramp in both my legs and knew the next 5.2 miles would be a struggle. With fellow runners who started to run past me giving support, the last few miles were a combination of slow jogging, walking to make sure cramp never set in and getting as much water & energy down me as possible.
With the end in sight I managed to spur the last ounce of what my legs could give and cross the line in a time of 4hrs 10mins and finish in the middle of the field.
The support along the route going through all the villages & helpers along the route were outstanding and definitely helped bring the event into life more.
Now knowing what the pain is like to run a Marathon and what pace and training I need to do to complete my first Ironman distance race later on this year by doing The Outlaw I feel I have more determination to cross that finish line and hopefully match or better my Marathon time on the day.
But first I will be heading off to Mallorca to complete the Ironman 70.3 Mallorca on May 12th. This will be a step up for me I’m and very much looking forward to the race in my build up to The Outlaw.