Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Race Report - Bournemouth Marathon 2015

The past 13 weeks have been leading up to this race, I had learnt a lot from Brighton and I wanted to put in practise what I had changed from April. I was really looking forward to this this race.. Until 3 days previous I got hit with a stomach virus (and to save on details) I was sat on the white porcelain phone for most of the 72 hours pre race.

Not a great start to my race day weekend, I drank lots of water to keep hydrated and went through my pre-race meals, along with some imodium to help me out, I woke up 05:00 Sunday morning as my wife was running the half marathon so it was an early start for me as my race didn't start till 10:00. I lied in bed, and nearly said I'm staying here, but I thought people run marathons with serious illnesses and I'm complaining about a stomach bug, man up and get out of bed and get into your running clothes.


We jumped in the car, an hours drive and we were soon parked up and walking to the start line, I waiting with my wife till the half marathon started, gave her a kiss and wished her luck. I wondered back to the bag drop, and sat down for a while to save my legs. I put my sun glasses on and zoned out for a bit, watching people walking back and fore to the toilets and getting last minute supplies from the coffee shop at the start line. 

30 minutes to go, I stripped off, sorted out my hydration belt, switched on my Garmin, dumped my bag at the drop point and made my way to the starting pen. It was really cold in the shade so I made my way there trying to say in the sun to get that extra bit of warmth. Final wee in the portaloo on my way and I was ready, and I started to feel really low. I know the 3 previous days had been hard as I was so geared up to do well and its never a nice feeling "should I pull out of this race" I was close to tears, I don't know why, I just wanted to see my supporters and get them to tell me everything was going to be fine. The 2 minute warning came out over the loudspeaker, I checked my Garmin all was set.. "I can do this" as my chin started to wobble..

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! We were off, I wore my printed running shirt so my name was very clear on the front and the 1st 200 meters a little boy shouted to me "Go on MARTYN" it gave me a reality check, I was running a marathon your going to be great, you've done done it all before and you've done the training your family are proud of you, they are waiting for you.. You best not let them down.

After the opening mile I found my stride and got into a really comfortable rhythm, I wasn't going to fast I felt good, no sign of the past 3 days illness all was forgotten.  I ran with the same group for a good 8 miles, I think we had a good pace and everyone dragged each other along. We started to break up after that and the stronger club runners kicked on and I was soon on my own but still going strong and picking people off.

I saw my wife as mile 13, a lump in my throat, she waved, shouted, and gave me all the encouragement I needed, I knew I'd see her on the way back and I shouted to her "Where are the children" she replied "On the way don't worry - I love you" Just what I wanted to hear! Out and back to the furthest peer, and a turn back into the crowds and hopefully to my family in the town centre.  I saw my wife again at mile 16.5 miles and she told me the children, mother and sister inlaw were just on the turn after 17 miles, I couldn't wait to see them. As you run onto the 2nd peer the wind hits you in the face, I stopped, I was walking, the 1st time in the race, then I saw a figure in the distance on the beach, it was my wife waving to me, I kicked on, she was there for me again! Thanks Vicki!

I was in town again and close to the point where my children were waiting, I saw them and it took my breath away, by the looks of there faces they didn't know who this sweaty man was jumping the railing to kiss them. It felt amazing and I was so pumped to see them and it made me stronger to finish the race. If only they could bottle that feeling and use it whenever you felt down...

I moved on to the killer hill of the course, I decided that I was going to power walk the hills in the race and save my legs for the flats and down hills. This tactic worked.. well I wasn't going to run the hills so it had to work. I started to notice that I had caught up with some of the group I had run the 1st 8 miles with as I noticed the club shirts and the names on the backs of them. I was feeling good again and stayed with the group. I had noticed though by now my mile pace had dropped considerably but I did really care about time it was all about completing what I had started.

I saw the sign for mile 21, I was starting to feel it on my legs, I knew I was going to have to dig deep, my stride length had shortened and it was going to be a tough remaining 5 miles. With one eye on Ironman Wales in 2016 I was going to try and split today's race into 4 x 10km-ish efforts, which worked in my head, so that's something I can take forward. As I got closer into town the crowds started to build, and more and more people called my name, which is great, I gave numerous thumbs ups and thank you's to strangers who gave me that boost. Miles 22,23,24,25 felt like took forever, I was run walking the land marks, I was telling myself run to the red holiday flat then you can walk to the yellow one and repeat. This helped me break down those final miles.... and then I saw it... The sign for mile 26 and in the distance the "end of the rainbow" the finish line.

I kicked on and made my way home, and who did I see about 200 yards away from the finish line but my loyal supporters! What a sight! I high fived my son who was on my wife's shoulders and pegged it towards the finish line, I heard the commentator call my name and it led a bunch of spectators chanting "GO MARTYN GO!" what a feeling, I high fived the finishing crew as I passed the finish line in a time of 04:49:11 not a PB, but I didn't care I had finished. I was told to keep walking to the finishers area, I had to stop and lean again the wall, I was drained physically and emotionally, it had been an experience... a pleasant one... Even though they put stairs in at the finishers area after you'd picked up your medal, that was harsh!

What next? 2 months off a training plan so I plan to chill out, buy a new bike and get in the pool, test out some kit and report back.

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