Wow it’s been 2 weeks since I completed my 1st marathon in Dublin. How time flies.
So after the marathon I had a week in Ireland and on return had a full week of studio bookings and plenty to catch up on which I guess is why its taken so long to complete the journey of my marathon training and blogging about it on here.
The run itself went went perfectly - I had a plan, I had trained hard, I had been careful with diet and hydration in the couple of weeks prior to the run and I got the mix of everything right on the day. The only thing I hadn’t banked on was the sudden cold front hitting Ireland Saturday meaning the start of the day was a chilly 2 degrees Celsius - so to combat this I had to start my day walking the streets of Dublin in pyjama bottoms and an old orange hoody - i looked very silly but didn’t care. I was 1 of 20,000 others who was starting the race dressed in old clothes.
The race went well. I started the race smiling and enjoyed the first few miles running through the Phoenix park and just taking in the atmosphere of thousands of feet pounding the ground. I saw my supporters at the 10 mile marker, offloading my hoody to them at that point and blowing a kiss to my wife. Really great moment and by then I was warm and just enjoying the vibe. I decided that by running close to the crowd and smiling madly at everyone I got more names shout outs and this gives a little rush of adrenaline helping boost morale for the next hill or whatever - crowd supporters really help. So big big thanks to all the people who turned out to line the street of Dublin in such cold weather.
After 13.1 miles and going past the half way banners I just felt I had got this and nothing was going to stop me finishing. As I went past the 20 mile marker I was feeling tired but not exhausted and definitely motivated even more by the crowds still. I had used 4 of my ‘Torq’ power gels by this point and decided to not take the others as I was getting stomach cramps - probably due to not taking enough water with them even tho i was carrying and drinking water pretty often - maybe just not often enough but the old brain couldn’t work this out after running for 3 hours. But because I had driven the route on Friday before the race I knew there was a nasty hill just after 22 miles so I decided to take a 5th gel just before this point and it definitely worked - i ran up the hill smiling at the crowd knowing there was nothing left to stop me completing now. At 26 mile crowd cheering area I saw the support crew again which was a nice lift to get me down the last stretch - legs were definitely hurting a lot now but I could see the end line. I finished the race with a chip time of 4 hrs 08 mins 05 secs to collect the medal.
So it was done. The rest of the day was a whirlwind of meeting up with the support crew in Sheenan’s Bar for Guinness and pics, then back to basecamp for showers and straight back into Dublin to take my parents around the Guinness factory then out for a meal before finally going into Temple Bar for celebration drinks with my brother who had run the marathon as well despite having an injured right calf muscle. Ian had been a great mentor/coach for a most of the year behind the scenes and had finished it in just under 4 hours - not bad for a 50 year old!
So that’s it for marathon blogs and I want to thank all the sponsors who helped me raise some money for the charity I chose to run for. ChildLine Ireland or the ISPCC (Irish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children) do an amazing job of supporting children who call them asking for help when they feel they are in danger. All charities do amazing work but charities supporting kids are amongst the most vital in my mind. With 40 sponsors in the end I went way past my original target of €750 and finished with a grand total of €1,239.44 - so chuffed with this; so a huge thanks to all those that supported the charity and me through these donations.
A few big thanks to the support crew - Mum & Dad flew over from Cornwall to stand in the cold at almost 80 years old - amazing. Richard & Janice for providing base camp in their house. Jean & Rhys who met us in the pub with Moya, Rachel & Grace afterwards for our winners pint of Guinness.
Also I want to mention Susan Ogden for the Kangen Water in the week leading up to the race, Wendi Sartain for lending me a Kangen Water machine for the week, NewGen Superfoods Plus for their amazing food supplement powder which has kept my body healthy all year really and the bloke in the shop in Leamington (Essential Sports) who did my gait analysis, sold me my Asics trainers and gave advise about all things running - great guy. Also Irish Joe for giving me the inspiration and catchphrase which I would like to pass on to anyone else considering running - just get out the door - the rest will follow! Oh and Sue Roberts of Advanced Healing Therapies who worked a minor miracle by healing my poorly left leg after running the Kenilworth half marathon.
So what next?
Well I did say I was aiming for running 1 marathon before i hit 50 and my catchphrase for all these blogs has been: ‘I run parties for kids all year and am running 1 marathon in October’ but since the leg pains have died down and I have started walking normally again theres been a new challenge open up to me. Ian has invited me to run the Cairo marathon on Friday Feb 15th - the route takes in amazing views of the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx - initially I was not bothered as I had completed the mission of running a marathon before I got to 50, but I have always wanted to see the Pyramids, Ian lives just outside Cairo and it’s a great way to return the gesture of his support for me in Dublin so, I have agreed. To Cairo I shall go go. Don’t worry I won’t be writing blogs about this one!!
Finally a massive thanks to my wife Rachel for putting up with all the pain, suffering & moaning and for her support and my daughter Grace for riding her bike on countless training runs this last year.
A few pics or the day.