In short: Awesome but tough! In full: Didn't get round to postng my London Marathon Race report yesterday (didn'tget round to doing very much to be honest!) so here it is if anyone is interested.
The day didn't begin very well, I couldn't sleep the night before and only got about 3 hours sleep before I got up at 5.45! Headed to London and spent the whole journey scoffing pasta, bananas etc and drinking fluids. The journey to the start was slighlty difficult due to the fact that a DLR train broke down in front of the one we were on, which mean we had to walk from Crossharbour to the start. Still, it's nice to warm up before running.
Got changed, handed my bag over to the baggage control people and joined the start. My plan was to try to run sub 4 hours today, not my fastest time but I had been injured at the start of my training and hadn't caught up with the miles. We got over the start line just 5 minutes after the gun which was suprising and I attempted to settle into a 9 minute pace.
It was very congested for the first 5/6 miles and I was constantly getting baulked by slower runners............much slower in some cases, I cannot for the life of me work out how or why these runners get so near the front. Surely the pen allocation system needs looking at again, it cannot be much fun for them either, constantly being past by streams of faster runners.
I reached 10k at 55 mins and felt really good, I was in a good rythmn and had found more space on the road. I made a deliberate effort to concentrate on my fluid intake and had been taking water and Lucozade at every opportunity because it was already quite hot and the temperature was rising steadily. I was using my favourite method of popping a jelly baby at every mile to count the miles down and keep the energy intake going. ( Black and Red only..........and certainly not those BLOODY green ones!) Plus energy gels.
The next 6 miles all came and went in under 8.5 minutes each and everything was peachy, half marathon at 1.55 and I felt in control and really comfortable, apart from my feet! I had suffered with pain to several toes on both feet after the Oakley 20 mile race several weeks before and my big toes nails had turned black, they had settled down a bit but getting one trodden on whilst playing football last Saturday hadn't helped, and now they were beginning to shout.
The temperature was getting quite uncomfortable now and I was making the effort to find shade where ever possible, many runners were walking or stopping for medical help. miles 14, 15, 16, and 17 were averaging under 9 minutes but I was starting to feel the effort. Everyone knows that London is flat right? Well I found a hill between 17 and 18 (it wasn't there last year).................and anyone who runs with me knows I DON'T DO HILLS! It completely knocked the stuffing out of me, not because it was long or steep (it wasn't), but just the extra effort required knocked me for six. I stopped at the St John's post to get my feet swathed in vaseline and rejoined the throng. Mile 19 took 16.6 minutes (not the quickest pit stop!) 20 and 21 12.5 minutes average, mile 22 took 10 minutes then something happened. I almost got my mojo back. Mile 22 was 10.04, mile 23 was 9.2 , mile 24 10.3, mile 25 9.55 and I could smell the finish! Mile 26 9.22 I could smell the beer! Then the last bit, this is truly the most emotional part of any race I have ever done, the view, the sense of achievement, the crowd and the knowledge that you can stop soon really got to me and although I didn't actually cry like a babba I have to confess that some dust blew into my eyes and they did start to water a bit...................and then it was over. 4hrs 11mins. Too slow but really, really hard work!!
It is the hardest physical event I have ever done, due to the heat mainly, and I feel like I have been beaten up with a baseball bat and thrown down a very, very long staircase.
All credit to the crowd again who were amazing, the medical staff, officials and organisers. They all did a perfect job, there was plenty of help, water, lucozade, showers and advice. People were struggling, but that was inevitable given the weather.
Next year? I said 'never again..................again' as I crossed the line! Mind you, if I did another smaller marathon or an overseas one in the Autumn just to keep ticking over........not quickly...........no presure...............I mean, not for a fast time....just to keep my hand in............?! Date of review: April 24, 2007
In short: I did it! I did it! I did it! I did it! I did it!I did it! I did it! I did it! I did it! I did it!I did it! I did it! I did it! I did it! I did it!I did it! I did it! I did it! I did it! I did it! In full: Amazing! My first ever full marathon having run LOADS of halves, 10 miles, 20 miles and 10k's. What a major step up it was too, a real challenge. The whole event was handled superbly and the organisers and marshals all deserve a massive pat on the back...WELL DONE! If you could do something about the wind then I'll be back ext year!! Thanks for helping me achieve something very special, my first marathon in 3hrs 47!!!!
In short: Lovely! In full: Fantastic views and weather again! Crowded getting out of the park for the start but generally well organised, only major problem was trying to spot the KM boards which were feeble in size and hidden!
In short: Thanks to the kind person who handed in my GPS receiver. I LOVE YOU! In full: It's probably just because I love motorsport, but I loved running around Silverstone.............despite the obligatory wind! Date of review: March 14, 2005
In short: Spoilt a bit by a horrible, cold wind...but that's my fault for running in February! In full: Good organisation in the main, except for a silly narrow, muddy section at the start and the fact that there was no start line as far as I could see! The wind was awfully cold and strong, but that's no-ones fault! Overall a nice, well organised event...with a very good quality medal, not one that looks like you won it playing darts!!! Date of review: February 14, 2005