Well what an amazing experience! I managed to complete the Manchester Marathon on Sunday 19th April 2015 in a not too shabby time of 5hrs and 22mins. It has to be said that it was the most
physically, emotionally and mentally grueling thing I have ever done. Our morning plan went well. Up early for a double breakfast and plenty of hydrating the day before. This was also Bryan's
first marathon so i'm sure you can imagine the level of apprehension! We collected two other running buddies in Chadderton and headed off towards Old Trafford. After sitting in a long queue of
traffic for the car park at Old Trafford I eventually found the running buddies who were to drag me around the next 26.2miles! Thank you Mark and Ann you were amazing!
The race began! The first half was fantastic. Many thanks to Andy B who was at various points along the route and gave some great high 5's and encouragement. Cheering crowds, bags of energy and adrenalin and a nice steady time of 2hrs 30mins at the half way point, which looked like a finish line with an inflatable arch and a timing mat! This is the point that I began to mentally question my ability and desire to reach the end. I stuck with Ann and Mark for a few more miles. I saw Andy again at about 16 miles but I struggled to even smile at him this time "I've had enough!" was the best I could muster! Ann and Mark began to pull away and my memories of the next 5 or 6 miles are hard to recall - a little like the memories of child birth I suppose. Of this point in the race I am the most proud as this is when I could have easily resorted to walking the rest of the way or even giving up but determination meant that this was out of the question. It's hard to recall how much of the rest of the marathon I walk and how much I ran as I ended up walking until my calf's screamed at me and then ran (shuffled) until the tightness my ITB was no longer bearable. The Royton Road Runners water station at 23 miles was a sight for sore legs! The next 3.2 miles felt like the longest 3 miles I have ever endured. With about half a mile to go the stadium came into view and Andy B was there to support me to the end, he even missed going to the city game! Thank you Andy :-) I still sit here writing this in awe of myself - I did it! I completed the Manchester Marathon!