Richard Perry

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Greater Manchester Marathon 2015

  |     |   Challenges, Running, Marathon, Epic Quest

On Sunday 19 April 2015, after 16 weeks of training, I completed my first marathon!!

I woke up early on Sunday morning to find the sky clouded over and the temperature in single digits. Perfect weather for running a marathon! I got everything sorted out and, after a mild panic over some missing Vaseline, I got a lift to the race start (thanks Mark :smile:). Before the race I caught up with a few of the guys from the Club and we agreed a meeting point for after the race. It was then time to line up at the start line. My plan for this race was to stick with the 3:30 pace runner for as long as I could, but I couldn’t see him at the start. Instead I decided to tag along with the 3:29 pace runner (it’s only a minute quicker after all).

Caerleon Running Club - At the Start At 09:00 the gun went off and I began the slow surge to the start line to began my marathon adventure. During the first couple of miles I knew that the pace should feel very comfortable otherwise there would be no way I would finish, so I was happy that it felt a little slow. As planned, I stuck with the pacer in a pack of runners until near the halfway point when I realised that there was actually space just in front of the pacer. I pulled ahead of him, but only a little, and passed through the Half Marathon gate at 1:43:52, slightly quicker than planned, but not too much so I was happy with that.

I kept myself just in front of the pace runner until I was approaching the 20 mile point where I realised that I was still feeling good. I decided to slightly increase the pace to see how well I could do. At 23 miles, I was suddenly aware that I had never run this far before, and I was still running strong. It was overwhelming how good that made me feel and gave me a boost that carried me the rest of the way round the course. As I passed the 26 mile marker, everything around me disappeared and I dug deep to “sprint” the last 0.21875 miles.

As I crossed the finish line, I noticed the clock registering 3:25:02 and I could not believe my eyes. I had finished my first marathon in less than 3½ hours :grinning:! This was also where I noticed some reluctance from my legs with regards to movement. Ah well, I did it!

The race was well organised and quite enjoyable. Ok so large sections of the course are out and back along the same route, but that didn’t really bother me. I enjoyed the course and found it to be exactly as described, i.e. flat :smile:. Also, along the route, I also had my own little support team (Rosie, George, Mark, Carolyn, Mum and Dad) keeping an eye on me at 9 miles, 16 miles and at the finish. This was a real boost for me, even though I wasn’t struggling it was great to see them cheering me on :smile:. Thanks Guys!!

  • Will I run another marathon? Almost definitely!
  • Will I run this one again? Probably.

Everyone from the club ran really well, with 3 members actually getting good enough times to qualify for Good For Age places for the London Marathon. The club results are available here (just filter by club for Caerleon Running Club).

My official time for the marathon was 3:23:02, 37 minutes quicker than my target time when I registered and 7 minutes quicker than my target time at the beginning of the race :grinning:! My detailed results (for those of you that are interested) are available here.

Caerleon Running Club - Greater Manchester Marathon 2015 Finishers

Caerleon Running Club - Greater Manchester Marathon 2015 Finishers
(missing a few though :disappointed:)

P.S. Being as running a marathon is one of my Epic Quest Challenges, I have also updated that to reflect completion of another challenge :smile:

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