Back again with a late post! It's been a busy sixth months this year two more marathons done and thee single longest race I have taken part in was not only completed, but competitively I did pretty good!
I'll start with Brighton. Finishing time was 3 hours 24 mins which was 22 mins off my old time. The day was perfect weather and had a great time running it too!
Edinburgh was a nightmare! Finishing in just under 4 hours, I wasn't having a good day. Bad food the night before and being too hot through out the race. Could barely finish it and very nearly gave up. Excellent training for those hard times which I was expecting to crop up fairly soon in this 100 mile race across the South Downs Way.
So on June the 29th I had my overnight bag packed, tent with me and was on the train to Winchester. Arrived early so had a nice day dozing in the gardens around the little city. After setting up my tent we had a few meetings to discuss tomorrows event and all the health and safety precautions. The tension was palpable, so many people doing their first race of this distance. Everyone looking at each other sizing them up. Everyone asking about expected finish times. Mine? I just said "I'm hoping to finish it." Set your standards low and hope for the best when you give it your all!
Now the camping... The only problem with my tent was I hadn't slept in a tent for about twenty years I had no underlay so I spent the night getting a sore back and the rain. Worst part was I didn't sleep. 45 mins at best. Still worked out OK in the end ;)
When the race started immediately I saw the elite crowd jump off. I held back and ran with some good guys for the first 40. Both dropped off not feeling well but eventually came back in the end ahead of me! Mile fifty I felt pretty bad and sat for 15 mins while I waited for the food to kick in. It was at this point I thought I am doing well and should start pushing it. Kicking it up a gear was exhilarating. Chasing people down for hours on end. It was going so well and managed to jump up to 7th or 8th position before I took a wrong turn and ended up at the sea! Not good. About an hour later and back on track my ankles had seized up. Tiredness was setting in and it wasn't nice. Still I got over the line, eventually. Finishing in 22 hours and 47 mins in 20th place I promptly broke down, it was something of an achievement and personal goal for my self. I don't know who or what I was proving but I did, I really did.