Here’s a few words about my marathon.

I never aspired to doing a marathon, it just never appealed to me. Certainly when I started running in 2015 I didn’t dream for a second that within 2 years I’d be running the legendary 26.2 miles! Even when I started running well and moved from C25K to, 10ks and shocking myself with a half marathon, whenever someone said to me when am I doing a marathon I always replied never. I just didn’t fancy all the training. If I’m going to run 20 miles at any time I want at least a t-shirt and a medal at the end of it! So why did I put myself up for it?

Well I marshalled the Manchester marathon in 2016 and loved it. I loved seeing everyone trying so hard to get to the end no matter what physical shape they were in. Without disrespecting anyone I thought to myself if some of these people can put themselves through it why can’t I? So I got it into my head that at the age of 55 I would run my first ever marathon! I didn’t actually book one but that was taken out of my hands when my lovely wife booked me on the Rock and Roll Liverpool marathon as a Christmas present! To say I found training tough would be an understatement. I set off with good intentions with Dave Lloyd and we had a plan but while Dave stuck to it I picked up little niggles here and there and really failed as far as the plan went. I mentioned dropping down to a half several times on Facebook and most people said I was doing the right thing while others encouraged me to carry on because I could do it. The doubt was very much in my head though. When it came to the 20 and 21 mile runs I even fudged those a bit finding a route where I could coast downhill for a lot of it and run/walk fast uphill for the rest. Not ideal.

When it came to the big day I was nervous but once I set off there was no way I wasn’t going to get to the end one way or another. The first 11 miles I enjoyed, I ran at a good pace, saw lots of lovely BRR support and ran with Michael Lilley for a while. When I turned back on to the main road just after 11 miles I felt a bit of pain/cramp in my right leg. I went to the side to stretch and both my legs were shaking! Not good. I eased myself back to a slower run and plenty of fluids but knew that the rest was going to be a struggle. When you look at your watch after 15 miles and realise you’ve still got another 2 hours plus to run you don’t feel happy. Trudi caught up with me at mile 21 and encouraged me through another mile but by the time I reached the long home stretch it was a real struggle. I managed though and even ran at a decent pace the last 300 yards to the line in front of all my wonderful BRR friends. So many smiles and cheers. So I did it. And you know what, I’d do it again. Better preparation hopefully but I’m not put off.

Anthony