No more sleeps-today we run! Marathon Day had finally arrived and when Katie Thomas and I met up in the exotic location of Altrincham Travelodge Reception the excitement of running our first marathon had well and truly turned to nausea! Katie’s husband Dan kindly drove us to Old Trafford and whilst he battled to reach the car park we had time to soak up the pre-race atmosphere. Thankfully we weren’t also soaking up the forecast heavy rain as, hurrah, it was dry and actually near perfect race weather 🙂
Then it was off to the start, the gun went off and we were running our first marathon! The course was described as fast and flat and it delivered. There was excellent local support, plenty of water (in weird plastic pouches!),gels, shot blocks and unofficial jelly babies etc. to -keep us going. The course winds out through the suburbs, back, in fact past (the actually rather pleasant ) Altrincham Travelodge- with a few out and back parts where you could spot both the faster runners and friends.
My aim was to get under 4 hours so, with a choice of 3.45 or 4 hour pacers, I hung round the 3.45 group for as long as possible also tried to keep Terry Docherty in my sights who I’d spotted up ahead! I reached the 20 mile point at around my Ashby time of 2:52 and felt much better than then- the lack of hills perhaps?! I’d never run further than this though and my pace certainly slowed but as long as I could keep the miles under 10 mins. I’d make it :).
Then the end was in sight- I almost didn’t want it to be over-and I crossed the finish line in 3:51:30 -feeling awesome!
Terry was having some grief near the end and at one point I passed him when he was reduced to a run/ walk but he rallied to run past me and finish in 3:50:12.
Katie’s ‘dodgy’ ankle gave out on her around mile 20 but she wasn’t going to let anything as trivial as excruciating pain defeat her and she battled on in agony to finish in 5:17 :13 -respect!
Our efforts were rewarded with a HUGE medal, a decent technical Tshirt (XS available for the, well, smaller among us!) and a car sticker to sandwich nicely between my BVH ones 🙂 In short a great marathon for both first timers and those hoping to shave minutes off their time-loved it!