I am going to be honest here, this run was my first and only time I have ever really regretted signing up for a race. I quite frankly did not want to do it and had I not convinced, encouraged, forced my buddies to sign up for this I do not think I would have turned up to the start. Luckily enough I have the support of these special ladies to get me through it and admittedly I enjoyed some of the day!
There is a marathon on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, I think we all know the New Year’s Eve option was the best one to go for. I signed up for it some time ago, we are talking pre Saltmarsh through the Challenge Running Website – it was very straightforward and easy. The cost was £35 which I think is fair for a well organised local marathon. On the day entry would have been available had the entry not been full at a cost of £40, however this one sold out a few weeks before the event.
Numbers were collected on the morning of the run so we arrived with enough time for collection and another toilet stop before setting off at 10am, there was a cut off at 4pm which meant you had to be at the half way point within 3 hours. The route was mostly on what would have been gravelled paths but in reality there was a fair amount of puddles and mud -trail shoes were required. It was marked and sign posted so navigation wasn’t too much of a problem (always good for me 🙄) with well stocked check points every 6.5 miles.
After a briefing from the organisers we set off just after 10 and right from the off we got stuck into some puddles, although I tried to keep my feet as dry as I could for as long as possible this is easier said than done when running alongside T and Zoe J who love a splash 😂. With this being an out and back run it was very samey, however it’s the type of route I would normally really enjoy – which I did for the first 14 miles.
Seeing Jo and Sam at mile 12.5 was most definitely a highlight for me, they had twiglets and everything 🤤 plus with the turnaround at mile 13 it meant we got to see them twice 😁.
Now, what I don’t understand is how both out and back can be on a slight uphill?! It just does not make any sense, there was barely any downhill gradients yet it always felt like we were climbing slightly up?? How does this work? I guess I stopped enjoying it at about mile 15, the aching began and although I have no problem with the run walk strategy I was really struggling to get going again after walking.
Mile 17 and I’d had enough! 9 miles, 3 parkruns to go – me and Gouldy had to really dig in deep at this point. There was a lot more walking involved and the one advantage was that we got to do some good chatting which was really nice. Then my husband appeared at about mile 19 which gave me a great boost just a mile away from the last check point. Seeing T almost go down in a puddle was extremely funny and a real pick me up at this point 😂 6 miles to go and this was a very tough 6 miles, Gouldy had picked up some knee pain which was a real concern but we just kept moving forward. Then came the rain, downpour, hail stones, horrendous wind and nasty weather! Just as it had started to come down we past a pub, you have no idea how much I wanted to call it a day and dart in there. But we didn’t, we kept going and we somehow got through the last 2 miles with some support from Bob at the last mile, Dan at the end and T who swung back for us.
That’s it, last race of 2017 done. It’s a great medal and t shirt to add to my collection & I fully deserved the chips and gravy I had for dinner. I’d just like to put this down on paper – NO MARATHONS IN 2018. I’m not saying never, in fact I’m sure 2019 will see me doing another one but for 2018 I’d like to work on some speed over shorter distances, up to half marathons.
1) Do not sign up for a marathon 2 & 1/2 months after doing your first ultra 🤦🏻♀️
2) If you do sign up for a marathon 2 & 1/2 months after an ultra you still need to train for the marathon 😬🔫 you will not want to.
3) Do not drag your buddy’s into it with you, they will not thank you for it (sorry guys 😐)
4) Always run spitting distance away from T 😂🤭
5) Never underestimate the power of supporters along the way, seeing someone you know gives you such a huge boost, thank you 😘 and if they bring twiglets it really helps 😊
6) Marshmallows taste amazing 20 miles in 🤤