What a day! I finished in 4.43.52 which was a surprise as I thought I'd do it in 4 hours. I was disappointed at the time, but my achievement is now sinking in. However this was my first marathon, and events conspired against me - honestly!
My wheelchair-bound mother had to go into hospital for an operation last week, and I hurt my back lifting her. After training diligently for 6 months with no injury problems I was devastated, to say the least. However, I know a very good osteopath, and thanks to his efforts - 'I can fix it so you can run, but I won't click the ribs back in yet!' - I managed to drag myself round.
My back problems affected my posture, and I had to run flat-footed. Needless to say this started to give me sore feet and calf muscles. After 18 miles, I seized up with cramp. Luckily, I remembered an article about walk/running so I adopted that strategy to get home, but those eight miles seemed like 26.
The best moments were meeting my wife Philippa and the kids Robby and Katy after 10 miles, which gave me a great boost, following the young lady in a thong for a mile or so (if I did it again I'd follow her all the way round), and knowing that I've raised over £4k for Cancer Research UK in memory of my father.
The worst moment was five yards from the finish when I got cramp in both calf muscles. The commentator saw this, picked my name up from my T shirt, and had a real go at me for stopping! He even reminded me to smile for the cameras!
I followed them pretty closely, but couldn't do the speed-work as I had a knee operation last year, which prevents me from turning quickly.
I did say "never again" to my wife, but, thinking about it... what if I was injury-free and the weather was a bit cooler?