Manchester Marathon

I hadn’t done an official marathon since London 2019, so when I got offered a place in Manchester, as part of the Adidas team, I thought why not.

For people that know about my running, I have always struggled at the marathon distance events and haven’t really enjoyed one. I have completed a marathon, or longer, over 40 times. Most of these were me just going out for a run on my own to remove the nerves, anxieties and worries of an event.

Training for Manchester started going well, hitting the times I wanted and training at 3 hour pace. Until 3ish weeks before the race when I picked up a cold/bug. So not much running done at all. During those 3 weeks all the usual (for me) nerves, anxieties, worries started to creep in and I was very tempted to pull out, or just do the 1st half. As I had the place as part of a larger team and I couldn’t give the place away, I felt I just had to go and give it a go.

After a day at work in the shop, I got a lift to the station and took the train to Manchester. Straight out of the station and into the hotel.

On race day I woke up and just thought see what happens, so off I went to the start. It was really easy getting to the start and conditions were good. I had a quick chat about the race with another Sheffield runner who was also going to start at 3:15 pace. Then off we went.

It was all going well, I was feeling good and kind of enjoying it. Until about mile 17 when the thighs started to ache. I stuck with the pace till 19 miles then had a word with myself about what I wanted out of the race. All my previous marathon events have never gone well and I’d not enjoyed them, especially towards the end when I’ve always walked (there’s nothing wrong with walking during marathons it’s just I don’t want to) and afterwards when I always ended up vomiting a lot and feeling really bad for a couple of hours after finishing. So I put my music on, never done this before in an event, let the pacer go away and slowed down.

My aim now was to get to the next mile without walking and maybe get on the tram back. Mile 20 came, I had another chat to myself, and kept on going. From now on it was a bit of a game with myself to not look at my watch and just keep trying to run. The other 3:15 pacers passed me, but I really didn’t mind, “just slow and don’t walk” was my message to myself. When the finish got into sight I turned the music off and even managed to speed up, a little. After crossing the line I did start to feel a bit emotional and pleased with myself. That has never happened after a marathon to me.

There was a bit of a walk back to the tram. I had a sit down and a quick chat to a couple of other runners who’d had mixed outcomes.

Looking back on it now I’m ok with what I did, no walking, no vomiting and a PB. I think I’ll always be frustrated that I can’t equate my times from shorter races into marathons, but I at least now I have a new PB and can actually think to myself that I’ve run a marathon.

On to the next one now, maybe.