Yes that’s me! 3rd time lucky and was I lucky? No not really, there was maybe a little luck in the way of perfect weather, sunshine and a nice breeze but the reason I got the results is because I put the work in.
The start was a little soggy underfoot for me which meant that around 3 miles in I had blisters beginning, this was not a huge disaster at all because it took my mind off any other ache or pain I may have normally felt.
Mile 1-8 were my own run, I was running for myself, I was not with anyone else and I kept on going, running at a pace that would have seen me come over the line in 3hours 12…ish and the another runner caught up with me. A lady called Claire, we had a conversation and she was a Sheffield club runner V 35. running for a sub 3:15 time so that she could apply for the Virgin London Marathon Championship places which means posh loos (I’m sure there are other perks) so although I was running well over my target pace I decided to run with her.
We ran comfortably together over the half way mats in about 1 hour 35 minutes. Still on target for a sub 3:15 marathon. On we ran and I could feel that I was struggling to stay with Claire and as she pulled away and turned back to pull me on I wished her good luck and resumed my own race for the next 12 miles……….
I kept on running and taking my gels every 3 miles and water at every water stop. I took in some lovely scenery, great villages with marvellous support :). at about mile 18 I began to feel tired and could feel myself shuffling, the advice from Coach Den popped into my head “if you feel yourself shuffling, think about your style” so I did and managed to pick up. ( the song line that popped into my head was Everyday I’m shuffling, although its actually Everyday I’m hustling) the thought of just being able to run home at 22 miles did pass my mind as that’s the longest distance I cover in training.
From 22 miles I was running for the 25 mile mark that I had seen on the route to the race course in the morning and I slowly worked my way past many other runners, up the hill in to Chester eating a green jelly baby given to me on the way, it gave me no energy boost what so ever but what it did give me was a happy boost. I caught up with 2 men from a club ( which I’ve now forgotten although I had seen the back of them at around mile 16 and they had pulled away) and passed them just as I turned the corner and saw that 25 mile marker, just 1.2 miles to go!!!
The last effort was along the riverbank where the support was loud, fantastic and encouraging and someone told me I was 26th woman!!! that made me kick on and before I knew it I was running into the race course to shouts of go Mum! go Claire! I could see a guy in front of me. I could not resist the temptation of beating him so I gave it a shot, unfortunately so did the guy and we had a good final sprint !! yes even after 26 miles we sprinted, well it felt like it and he won.
I won as well though, I ran over the line in
3 hours 19 mins and 31 seconds
That was a PB knocking just under 11 minutes off my last marathon time. I was happy as Larry ( why was Larry happy?) and buzzing like a bee. A week later I still am 🙂 I cannot wait for the next one now.
A VERY VERY HAPPY SUB 3:20 MARATHON RUNNER