Challenge 2014 – A Chester finale

Well after the false start of Edinburgh Marathon Festival, today I finally completed the marathon component of Challenge 2014: Marathon & More at Chester. Of course, with the title, to miss the marathon would make the event a little bizarre. Calling it “& more” doesn’t really give you much information about what was going on.

Anyway, back to today. An early start to get to Chester Racecourse without the jams meant it was a lot less sleep than I’d have liked. Time I would have spent trying to digest my body weight of pasta which I’d eaten whilst trying to catch up on the recorded TV from the last week.

I was oddly nervous before the race. I used to have nerves before races but this is the first time in a good while. I guess it was the first proper endurance test of the body since I broke it earlier in the year and it’s not a distance I’m used to. Several trips to the porta-loos later and I then had to run to the start line with about 40 seconds before the gun.

The weather was clear, sunny and cool; perfect for long distance running. Actually the course was very pleasant and my pace was rock steady, albeit probably a bit quicker than I should have been early on.

One nice touch was a conversation with another runner called Chris – it was his first marathon and he commented that it was good to see Myeloma UK being represented. He too was running for them and it was nice to chat about the illness, the research and raising money for such a great cause.

As such by mile 24 my legs were screaming at me and I did have to walk a little section. Of course, not much further on the crowds started to build which encouraged a little more out of my legs. And on returning to the racecourse this only intensified. I could see I was outside of the 3h30m pie in the sky hopeful finishing time but I could also see three other runners up ahead who had not yet reached the finishing line. And in true fashion, regardless of previously feeling like I had nothing left, I’m sprinting to the tape to pass all three to much excitement of the commentator.

Final time for the Chester Marathon – 3 hours 30 minutes 7 seconds. Not bad considering what a year it’s been. And great to have finally achieved what I set out to do at the start of the year:-)

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Chester Marathon t-shirt and medal

Chester Marathon t-shirt and medal

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