I just about crawled over the finish line. That last 800 meters felt like absolute hell and the worst part is, as I hit the 25 mile mark, they suddenly added on another 200 meters. Yes, 26.2 miles. I will never forget the .2 miles.
Honestly, what an awesome experience. I was hoping to finish just under 5 hours, somewhere around 4 hours 50 minutes but in the end I did 5 hours 16 minutes. Who cares, I finished a marathon!
What did I learn? Well, here are my first time marathon run (walk) tips:
- When they say don’t :start to fast, they mean don’t start to fast. I felt great, my pace was almost a minute off my training pace, at the 10km mark I still felt good, by halfway I was running out of steam.
- Don’t stop, just keep moving. I went into walk / run mode, I walked briskly and made sure no matter how tired I felt I didn’t stop.
- If you buy new shoes, do some long runs in them pre-race day.
- Beer does not count as carbo-loading. I had two the evening before, bad move. Avoid alcohol before the race day. No matter what your mate tells you.
- There is sun in England, you will get sunburn if you spend 5 hours out doors so make sure you use sunblock.
- Do the training. Give your self enough training time, do the long runs and the interval training. In other words follow the program.
Watch your fluid intake. You need to keep hydrated but you don’t want to over hydrate. It can sneak up on you like that extra 200 meters at the end!
I had a great experience and I will definitely do it again. The spectators were really supportive, they kept cheering me on, “Go Orange Man!” (next time I will put my name on my top), showering us with water and always ready with oranges or energy sweets.
Thanks to everyone, the Brighton Marathon team, my sponsors, spectators and fellow runners for a wonderful day.