Welcome to the forum onetoescape. If it's any help I ran my first marathon 5 years ago without any idea about training, pace, nutrition etc and not knowing anyone else who was doing a marathon. I started my 'training' in January and did the London marathon in April, completing it in a time of 4.74 (sounds so much better than 5.14). Soon after that I came onto this forum and got loads of support and advice from other forumites - DS and Kenny to name two that are still posting on here - and then did Dublin 6 months later in 4.13.
At the Waterworks there are quite a few people who are training for Belfast marathon so if you want to come along I could introduce you to them and you could see about joining up with some of them. At the least you'll get lots of support and practical advice.
Don't let the thought that you might come in towards the end of any race (or parkrun) ever put you off entering. I'm usually at the finish line of most races and I can assure you that those coming in at the end get the biggest cheers.
Interesting post about parkrun Leslie. Which parkrun do you do? It's difficult for a lot of runners to get their heads around all the parkrun (always lower case p) policies and etiquette, but Event Directors get it drummed into them week after week so it soon becomes second nature. We are never to use the word 'race' in connection with parkrun, and we can't wear any clothing or use any signage that has that word on it. It is a timed run, but there is no problem with runners wanting to improve their time each week. For health and safety reasons we would encourage faster runners to line up nearer the front, but we can't insist on it.
The other main rules are - no barcode, no time, no exceptions; runners never to be asked to bring money for anything, even charity; all under 11's must be accompanied by an adult; must be all inclusive, and we must always give way and show courtesy to other park users. We're also not allowed to promote ourselves as the 'best', 'friendliest', 'nicest' etc. Apart from that - simple
Oh, and there are never any winners, just first finisher, or first across the line.
Good luck Lisoider - hope all goes well with your latest trip. If you get a chance, post on here and let us know how you are getting on.
Bracken - obviously I am biased towards the Waterworks and will guarantee you a warm welcome if you decide to pay us a visit next week. The hill is quite small but as I have never run the Victoria course I can't make the same comparison that Jason has. If you do decide to visit the Waterworks come over and say hello.
The following weekend (1st November) is the Waterworks parkrun 4th birthday and the anniversary of parkrun coming to Northern Ireland.so if anyone would like to come and join us in the celebrations you'd be very welcome. The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Nichola Mallon will also be there that day.
I was in Newcastle all weekend helping at the GTR/MTR Skyline races so am only getting around to catching up on the weekend races now. It seems to have been a busy weekend.