I had tried to get a small group of runners together to run as a group but as always best intentions never happen and I lost all but one at the start. I was running with Pete Hall today. He was in training for his first 100k ultra and we had a game plan. 9 min miles which meant I would be near my pb and smashing the course record. but without completely caning it and Pete was going for a pb... Sub 4 was the goal. As usual I had the go pro out, I like to document achievements that I can bore people stupid with :-)
We also had some support this year... The mendip triathlon cycle support posse.... Lisa and Jon, although Jon FORGOT the jelly babies but seeing he raced first then cycled to Taunton from Bridgwater then I shall forgive him.
10.30 start... Taunton was shut down and we were off. We caught up with Nadine near the start and had a brief go pro interlude... Looking good Nadine who went on to get a brilliant PB.
We seemed to be locked in at 8.30 min miles which felt comfortable but I know we would regret that later. Each time we tried to slow it down we speeded up but after about 5 miles we were settled into our stride.
Now I did warn Pete that running a marathon with me might be an experience he wouldn't forget... I like to play around and without doubt am a little random. Bearing this in mind I set the high five challenge quite early making people who overtook me give me a low high five. Pete rose to the high 5 challenge sneaking in early... Game on!!!! Of course Pete didn't know about my best line...."all the good looking men high five" which never fails and I had 2 men nearly knocking each other out to secure a high five which made me chuckle. We also tried to drum up some crowd support with the whole UGGY UGGY UGGY OI OI OI which worked in places.
You know life is about little interactions that you have with people and my favourite is to introduce myself to random people shake their hand and say " Did you know it's national make a friend day whilst running a marathon" and I shake their hand and we have a chat. We met a Ben and another fella who thought I was 26, either blind or a very good liar but a nice happy chappy! We met Tim and we ran along with him for a while. We bumped into Emma, Emma was struggling with asthma and was on her second marathon and lived near Frome. She told me about hornet juice that is good for asthma, mental note to google that one, we talked about asthma, vit C and sub 4 before we left her to her own devices.
I have to say the half way mark came round quite quickly and we had gone round in a sub 2 for sure, again tried to drum up some crowd support, luckily for me I had Pete who would always OI, which meant I didn't get that awkward silence ,that has happened before. :-(
This year they had marshals in place in the town which had now reopened, I remember 2 years ago it was a complete nightmare. Pete and I had been joking about what we could shout out that would make the crowds disperse the quickest, Fire, Bomb, stop theif but we didn't actually do that. I had started to struggle at mile 14 , I like to get the pain and suffering in nice and early so by mile 18 I'm good to go. Every time I asked Pete how he was he answered in the words of Flo rider " feeling good" but sadly he didn't sing it. Now talking of singing this brings me into mentioning the cycle support crew...their support had no bounds, they were singing us songs and the Bluetooth speaker at mile 18 was a great touch, thanks Lisa, with rudimental's song " not giving in. It was really nice to have someone with us and Lisa and Jon did a great job.
We met more friends on lap 2.... Marathon buddies. We met Hilary who was a older guy about 70 I recon. Do you know how many marathons he had done?..................... ( I'm waiting for you to guess here) 132 marathons over 18 years. This guy was AWESUME. he stayed with us for a little while before taking off, although he did finish behind us so I am not sure how he managed that. We also met another man who was a lot older and was on his 118th marathon and he had done that many in 7 years.... You see marathon runners are NUTTERS!
Pete and I had decided that we had to hit each mile sign on the second lap, I think this worked for a few. It got to the stage where we were so tired that Pete only just managed to hit the sign and I had to touch his shoulder, come mile 22 we just swore at the signs!
I think at this point I was becoming a little grumpy..... You know that time when you get marathon turrets... Random swearing escaping from your mouth before you realise... Pete and I both suffered this from about mile 22. Jon had been with us all through lap 2, it would be great to hear his take on it bet the witnessed lots of different stages. We were getting really close, we were hanging on in there we just had the hills to go......... Big thank you now to Jon who helped me up those hills, I don't mean by dragging me up as I clung into his bike but staying with me telling me shit jokes and telling me to put one foot in front of the other.... That's hill was a killer second time round and once we got to the top we knew it was downhill on the way down.... That sub 4 was on the cards, we WERE going to sneak in under 4.
Pete's son, Oaks joined us at the finish line... 3.57.38..... We did it!!!
Course pb for me by 0ver 8 mins.... New marathon pb for Pete... I was 6th in my age cat and Pete was 8th
Again big thank you to our support crew.... It makes a huge difference.
You can watch out randomness here. Pete was running in prep for his first ultra end of May and is raising money for Somerset air ambulance. This guy is one of the nicest guys you will ever met and is doing loads for charity, so if you want to follow his progress and of course donate you can check this link out..... www.justgiving.com/UltraBeastPete