Entering the Race
After the 2015 London Marathon I decided to enter in 2016, unfortunately I didn’t get in through the ballot, although my friend and fellow Puma Adam Standeven did. He kindly declared that if I entered through a charity place, he would also raise money for the same charity and make raising the minimum £1,800 easier. This is what we did, and through friends, family and one or two events including setting up and organising a Puma’s New Years Day Fun Run with fellow Pumas Adam Standeven, Andrew Tudor, Deke Banks and Ian Marshall we eventually raised £2,800.
Unfortunately my training didn’t go quite as well as the fund raising and in fact was completely derailed after an 18 miler in February that ended with a bad injury, before the marathon this was the longest distance I had ever run! Unfortunately I now know that I should have stopped running, gone to see a doctor to be referred to a specialist, it turns out keeping on running and simply decreasing milage as the pain increases isn’t actually that good a way of getting rid of an injury!
After many weeks of pain, physio and hateful gym work (to keep up my fitness) I finally managed to get back to running properly at the beginning of April, only to be thwarted almost immediatly by the insoles that the pediatrist sold me (to fix the cause of the problem), these gave me blisters and stopped me running almost entirely for the 10 days prior to the race in the hope that I could get them to clear up.
Throughout all my training and no matter how hard it got, and however unlikely it seemed that I would be able to run the marathon I managed to smile and keep a positive out look on the whole situation. Actually that’s a lie, I became totally obsessed with completing the run, wouldn’t take any advice and was generally a right pain in the arse to be around, plus I spent a small fortune on anything that I thought might fix my ailments!
The Big Day
In the end though it all came good, and on the day, up until the last couple of miles, it was looking like I was going to achieve my target of completing the marathon in under 4 hours. Unfortunately the last 2 miles were hell with both legs cramping up so badly that I could barely walk, let alone run. I have never wanted to stop running so much whilst at the same time having hundreds of people yelling my name, telling me I could do it and basically making it impossible for me to actually stop! I did eventually finish in 4 hours and 5 minutes, which considering my lack of long runs I feel was better than I could possibly have hoped for, particularly as 3 weeks earlier I didn’t think I would be running at all!
Along the way my friends, family, running partner (Adam), and Puma’s running group have given me great support, I even had a prototype massage strap Fedex’d from New Zealand by Steve to help aid my recovery. On the day of the marathon the number of messages by text or through Facebook was incredible, I later found out that many of my friends and family were watching my progress on the Marathon website and cheering me on from their living rooms. In London I had support from family and friends, racing around London to see me in as many spots as possible and this certainly helped take my mind off the blisters and lack of long run training, oh and stopped me thinking about needing to have a pee for at least a few miles!
People keep asking me will I do it again, and straight after the race it was a definite no, but its amazing how a few days can make the memory of the pain merge into a memory of cheering spectators, crossing the finishing line and a general feeling of well-being, and yes there is still that small matter of completing it in under 4 hrs to consider…