It has been a few days since my last posting, as the Marathon weekend has been pretty full-on to say the least. Below is a description of the marathon - I will write details of the pre-marathon supper, breakfast and snacks on a separate post.
I am really, really pleased with my new Personal Best of 3 hours 37 mins (in bold because I am just so incredibly chuffed). That is actually 7 minutes faster than my previous PB, so it just proves that at the end of the day you do get out what you put in. I won't talk you through every mile as I have already bored the family and friends with all the details, but yes, I beat Gordon Ramsay and Adam Bardsley (who is really my ultimate running hero and had already run 40 m iles before he started the marathon on Sunday - see world treadmill record http://gofasterfood.blogspot.com/2008/04/bonkers-running-friend.html). If you want to see my splits, click on the title. I find it hard to believe that I came 675th out of all women runners and 134th in my age group, but it is true! I felt that I was holding myself back in the first half, so maybe I could have got myself a better time...who knows, it's too late now!
The day started out beautifully and I set off from the Green Start, the special good for age section (with Gordon and the celebrities!) . The start was unlike any start I had previously experienced. It was fast and not crowded, with everyone in my section running at more or less the same speed, so you did not have to weave in and out of people. I was just getting absolutely boiled when the heavens opened with ice cold rain. It was quite welcome for a while but unfortunately it carried on for about 5 miles and the wind got up too…yuk. I have to say that the highlight was running with the Masai warriors chanting African rhythms. I also ran with a guy in the nuddy (I think he was Borat) and lots of bananas. The course was nice and flat - much easier than New York - and I have never experienced so much cheering, music and general support. It really was amazing and so very well organized, much more so than any other marathon I have done before. And the great thing is that with my time, I will get another automatic entry next year, so I can experience it all over again!