Oh yes indeed, Brighton rocked yesterday!
The inaugural Brighton marathon was absolutely brilliant. The route was lovely, the crowd support was amazing and equalled that of the London marathon, the goody bag was excellent, the medal was enormous and good quality, the weather was a little on the warm side but I still managed to sneak round in under 5 hours coming home in 4:56:57. I was very pleased with this because I was feeling under the weather as I had caught one of the many colds that was going around at work despite telling anyone infected to keep well away from me! A combination of adrenalin, caffeine and Lemsip Max seemed to done the trick (and perhaps the 2 glasses of red wine Mike gave me to calm me down the night before!).
We had to get up at the crack of dawn to get there, park up and then catch a bus to the start. I sometimes marvel that in a crowd of several thousand (7,500 on this occasion) you can actually bump into someone you know. Here I am chatting to Ruth (aka Plodding Hippo) who has appeared at most of the marathons I have run as she is a marathon addict.
The lady on the left was telling us which pens we had to go to and for some reason I was in a faster pen than Ruth. One of us must have put the wrong time on their application form!
Here I am in my start pen before it filled up with nervous/excited/impatient runners. There was a 15 minute delay at the start which I later discovered was because somebody had parked their car on the route despite gigantic yellow signs telling them not to park there!
The weather forecast was for it to be sunny so I planned my race strategy accordingly. I always slow right down in the heat because if I don't then I feel sickly so I ran the first 10 miles at 10 minute miling then slowed to 11 minute miling, passing the 1/2 mark in 2:15. As the sun got higher, my pace slowed down to 12 minute miling which meant I was still feeling relatively comfortable.
As usual, Tracey's husband Bernard was out and about with the kids, snapping away but this time I didn't even spot him and he sent me several photos! When I approached the 23 mile mark, someone announced that Fat Boy Slim was up ahead and for some reason I decided that I had to beat him. I speeded up to 11 minute miling and caught sight of him. He looked as if he was suffering, as did many others by this stage, so when I went past I said "Well done, you're doing really well. Just keep going" to which he replied in a sulky manner, "Well I'm not going to give in now am I?!" Pah, I thought and upped the pace to 9:30 minute miling and left him in my wake listening to shouts of "Go on that Redhead!" I managed to maintain that pace right until the end and it felt really good to be running strongly right at the very end.
I got quite a surprise after the finish when I heard someone shout my name and turned to see Paul with whom I did the tandem ride last year! Sadly Sarah was stuck in Barcelona and hadn't been able to get back as all flights were still suspended because of the volcanic ash in the atmosphere.