It goes without saying that the achievement of crossing the finish line of a marathon is unrivalled. It’s not just completion of a race, it’s completion of doing something you trained you body to do for 4 months and crossing the line victorious no matter the result! This is something I’ve had to repeat to myself following yesterday’s marathon. By reading on you’ll see just how much of a struggle this race was.
The race started at Preston Park. On arrival, toilets were few and far between and queues were long. When I say long, I mean I spoke to one women who waited AN HOUR to pee. So that’s something I’d say they need to work on. Anyways into blue coral I went and after a 15 minute delay from the first gun-we were off. The start was smooth, not too congested and the least weaving I’ve ever had to do!
The first 6/7 miles felt easy which was great. Past Brighton’s iconic Pavilion and into Kemptown. I was hitting goal pace of around 8:50/mile and thought of nothing but taking it mile at a time. All was going swimmingly until mile 13/14. The heat got to me, the lack of breeze was punishing and I began to struggle.
At this point I saw the awesome cheer squad who came to support me and couldn’t give in this early.
Surprisingly by mile 16 I was still on pace for a sub 4hr finish so kept telling myself to just keep moving. Mile 16-18 was along to Boundary Road basically the straightest longest never ending road ever. The sun felt like it was trying to fry my poor afro 😂
Mile 17 walking began. I was starting to get goosebumps when I ran and remembered this sensation from Hackney half was when I got heat stroke/exhaustion. I scared myself and began to allow a 30-60sec walk each time I hit a mile marker. I was annoyed and frustrated as my race plan was blown out the window!
Then we reached what I’ll refer to as THE PAIN CAVE OF HELL. Out to Shoreham power station and back was the longest 3 miles of my life-EVER. Even get longer than 3 microwave minutes and y’all know that’s long 😂 Walks I took lasted for at least a minute per mile (some times I’d never seen like 10″35 min miles💀). Many times runners were ushered to the side of the road to let ambulances pass and attended runners who had collapsed in the scorching heat. Scary times. The sun was at its hottest and was there shade? Was there any hint of breeze? NOPE 😭
But Mile 24 was reached. Again the cheer squad were there to help me and push me to keep moving to complete this race. A sub 4 time was out of the question but I at least wanted a PB out of this so mile 25-26 I did not stop. Then there was 0.2miles left, the longest stretch EVER. I saw my amazing mum in the crowd cheering me and I wasn’t going to show her I was tired! Across the line in 4:13:18. PB by 2minutes🏅
WHAT A RACE.
Overall I’m happy with my achievement. That was a mammoth battle of a race and my body blooming heck knows it 🙈 I’m very competitive with myself and know the time I wanted; I know I put in the training to achieve it but on the day; in those conditions it wasn’t to be. But I’ll take that I still walked multiple times AND PB’d Amsterdam marathon I didn’t walk but was so much slower! Progress my dear Watson, progress! Next race? Oh only 6 weeks away-Edinburgh marathon 😊