Managed to get the Friday afternoon off work, so headed down to the expo to register and pickup running number, first problem of the weekend, couldn't find my name on the list, quick check with info desk and got my number, 7914, collected goody bag and received finishers T-Shirt!!!! strange I haven't finished it yet! Chip was checked and all was OK
The expo wasn't large but you tell that they are trying to make it like a big city marathon and if it grows then more companies will display at the expo, anyway bought some new socks, try something new on race day, it's the pirate way.
Home and out for a 4 mile leg stretcher, not good, shins hurting.
Maybe I should go back a day before and explain
Thursday night I had a race, Mow Cop Killer mile, I had decided that I would do this as a couple of guys from work had also said they would run. I had decided that I would take it very easy, anyway we walked the course before hand and walking down the hill seemed to hurt my legs, but too the race. The gun fired and everyone had different tactics to my nice and easy run, they all sprinted the first bit like a mad men, I managed to pick a few off towards the end of the race and finished just as I was starting to get warmed up.
So back to Friday night, the hurting shins was a bit of a worry but knew I had a full days rest on Saturday plus I was racing in calf guards which always help my shins, got a phone call from Matt (Cake) back from honeymoon and was running on Sunday, can he and his new wife Sarah (Booky) stay over the night before, no problem.
Went for a walk round town on Saturday to kill a bit of time and got Jordy some new clothes.
Roast Chicken salad with pasta and rice for tea and settled down.
Up at 5 Sunday morning, quick check on work, all orders in, great, breakfast done and all in car by 06:30, arrived at Manchester 07:15 £6 to park WTF!
Maybe it's now time to mention the weather
It was raining hard and blowing a gale, not the best conditions for running a marathon, but it was the same for everyone.
It was a mile and a half walk to the race village, the race village was in the middle of a park with no shelter from the rain other than a small little cafe which was by now absolutely rammed full of people, explained to Jo that I was going to go and get changed in the change tent. The change tent was far too small and it seemed that everyone was just using the tent to shelter from the rain including a lot of women and it was standing room only, no chance of getting changed in there, tried to blag an entry to the elite change tent, I did get as far as being asked if I was an elite Ha!.
I have to admit and I am not proud of my next step, but after complaining to a marshal about not being able to get changed in the change tent, I did throw my toys out of the pram a little and had a few erm choice words shall we say with some of the people in the change tent, it was at this time that I really started to lose it and marched back over to the small cafe and announced to Jo and Jordy "that's it, I've had enough we are going home" Jo as always had to bear the brunt and tried to calm me down, sorry Mrs, love you. I decide that maybe I could get changed in one of the portaloos, but in walking to them noticed an old house that workmen stored some stuff in one of the old barns, it was dry, no one else around and out of sight, all 3 of us jumped in there, sorted.
I do tend to waffle alot and the race hasn't even started yet!
Changed and ready to start, was about to go back and drop my bag at the storage area but Jo said she would take it to the car, this as it turns out was a very lucky escape, more on this later.
Found Matt at the start and after a few have a good race chats between us, the gun went and the race started
Success or failure, it's down to me (shamelessly nicked from Scot Ragsadale (egoman))
Managed to get a quick wave from Jo and Jordy who had stayed around the start, the rain was still falling, got up to the 4 hours 30 pacers and thought, great sit in here for the entire race.
After about half a mile I started to get away from the 4:30 people, so just carried on.
The first 3 to 4 miles are through an industrial estate, which is not nice, but after that we started to hit the suburbs and I have to say that the people of Manchester did themselves proud in that weather, the support out on the course was fantastic, up to 5 miles and spotted a familiar face, Suzie, who we used to run with 5 years ago, had a good catch up over a couple of miles and then lost each other.
The miles seemed to be passing by quite well and keeping an eye on the time I was running well, even with the bad weather conditions, through ten miles in 1 hour 33 minutes 21 seconds, I remember thinking to myself you're going to fast, but I was running well within myself, plus the wind for most of the first half was behind us.
At 10 and half mile got a massive pirate shout from Emma (Farnie), who ran out into the road and we had a hug, cheers chuck.
Got to half way and checked the watch, bloody hell!!!!!!! 2 hours 1 minute 36 seconds, that beats my previous half marathon times this year, proves that I'm in good shape.
The course then started to drift away from the main roads and before long we were running down a farm track and with the weather conditions getting even worse it started looking like an off-road race.
It then really started to become apparent just how much the first half we had had the wind behind us, because as we started to turn around you could feel the full force of the wind.
From mile 16 my time started to get slower but was still running well and feeling great, the support from the first half had disappeared and it was just us, the course and the elements. Through to 20 miles and was now starting to feel it, but still running.
At 22 miles a bloke ran along side me and asked "Are you a pirate?"
"Just read your mates book!"
"He's a fat poof who wears slippers!"
HAHAHAHAHA only joking Andy, good luck for Lanza, not long off now.
I did ask him if it had inspired him to give triathlon ago, yep but didn't like the swimming was his reply.
None of us do!
Got to mile 25 and knew not long now, but the last 1.2 miles seemed to takes ages, then the sting in the tail of the race, you had to run down to an underpass and back up the other side, ouch, hamstrings tightening.
Then to the finish, punched the air as I crossed the finish line.
I had run the entire thing, job done
I had run under 4:30 (4:20:06) job done.
Caught Jo and Jordy by the finish, space blanket on and walk mile and half back to car, it was now that it became apparent just how cold it was that day as I stated to shiver and needed warm clothes, luckily we hadn't left my bags at the baggage drop because the horror stories coming from there are truly bad and it's amazing someone didn't become seriously ill, just to let you know how bad it was, the police had to come and take over as it was so disorganised.
Got back to the car and drove home and climbed into a warm bath, extremely please with my days efforts.
The event will hopefully grow into quite a big marathon, but the organisers need to address some serious question raised from the day.
I have been for a few runs and bikes since and have been open water swimming twice, feel that the marathon is now out of my system and can start proper training again
Onwards and upwards as always