After not getting a ballot place in London for the 5th year running , I was determined to try for a good for age at Bournemouth. Luckily for me the Bustinskin 70.3 I had entered for the weekend before had been cancelled.
This would be my first marathon as a team raising money for Birmingham's children's hospital.
Lee, Jarvis and myself all started together and I had an average in my head that I needed to keep to if I could. I wasn't going to rush the first few miles and get carried away with the crowds. Leeky went on and me and Jarvis held back a little. Well I say we held back for the first mile but that kinda went out the window and we did the next 4 miles in under 8.20 average. We did however pull it back and slowed down to 8.40's , we didn't want to over cook.
Now I've never ran a full marathon with someone we have always ended up drifting apart at some point. Running with Jarvis was quite entertaining, our pace was good and we were running at the speed of chat so I knew we weren't going to blow up too early on the course. We seemed to be overtaking more than we were being overtaken. Jarvis had his name called out ALL the time, I have no idea why people didn't want to call out the name written on my Tshirt.....
We decided to have a little tally of how many people called his name to how many high fives I could get. The most successful high five technique of the day was shouting "all the good looking men high five and lo and behold men would hold their hands up to high five" It was all about tactics. High fiving the Marshall's worked too, I mean its their job isn't it ;-) I was getting so confident I even started high fiving random good looking blokes in the crowds. If I saw people with pain on their face, I would try and get eye contact and shout their name. High Fives give you a boost..... well they do me. This was to be our little game throughout the marathon and it worked for me.
The route was good in the way that you doubled back a lot so you could see when people were in front and by how much but also we got to see the rest of the poppyfielders. We saw everyone at least once and a few two or three times. Now I like to shout OGGY a lot in races and on more than one occasion no one has ever responded which all results in a little awkward moment but having Jarvis with me meant at least one person would respond. So we tried it out a few times in some crowded places and it worked a treat, especially going up that first little hill.
Even though we were having lots fun I still had my eye on the average pace and gave Jarvis a running documentary on our mileage and times. We were slowing gaining on Lee and I could see each time we passed that he was grimacing more. AT mile 18 someone thought that it would be funny to chuck a longish hill in, now I run hills, I like hills but at this particular time IT HURT!!!! It seemed to take a few miles to recover from that hill. It began to hurt at mile 14 which passed at mile 17 but after that hill at 18 then running down a hill my legs started to groan.
Now when I'm tired I start to get silly and lets face it its great to talk to random people. So I started to demand that people who were overtaking me had to low five me and most people are up for it. If anyone has random memories of the marathon it might be some strange tattooed lady high fiving anything that moved. My next line was to say "hi, did you know that today is NATIONAL make a friend whilst running a marathon day. Everyone shook my hand and we had a little chat apart from one guy who was so so grumpy but hey we had a laugh at him too.
Now for the last few marathons I've done I've found renewed energy at mile 20 and this was no exception. Somehow somewhere something kicked in. Its here I lost Jarvis and even though my average pace had dropped to 9.15 min miles I felt good. There is always a lot of people walking from mile 20 and running past them always gives me strength. The last miles were a bit lonely so I put some tunes on and got into the beat. I knew I wouldn't make the good for age but I knew I would PB. I caught up with Mr Knight who we had been playing vat and mouse with during the whole race, what a legend he was. Its always good running with someone in fancy dress as they get the biggest cheers!!!!!
So there was the finish line and I even half attempted a sprint finish. 3.53.59 a 4 minute Pb and 4 mins over the good for age. It was good to see that I beat Mr Grumpy in and I made a point of going over and giving him the biggest smile and saying well done.
Now a big thank you to Jarvis because he kept me dying of boredom on some of those long stretches down the sea front, he helped me keep my pace and told me some very interesting information about Bournemouth. I know we didn't finish together but he helped me through 75 % of the race.
I had such a great time and met some old friends but also some great new ones all united through one common cause. Taank you to all the supporters for being there and helping us through.
I was 253rd out of 3001 runners and 15th in my age cat which I was quite chuffed about. That makes me in the top 17 %. Next year I'm doing all 4 races over the 2 days. BRING IT ON
Love poppyfielders team...... thanks guys YOU ROCK!!!!!