Manchester Marathon Sub 3 attempt!

The weekend of the marathon had arrived, Saturday the 15th April, in the afternoon me and Anna ( my partner) drove up to Manchester to stay at Hotel Football, about a mile from the start and finish line. The Hotel was so cool, with a great view of Old Trafford Stadium, being a Man UTD fan this was amazing 🤩. Later that afternoon I did a shake out run and checked out the race village and start / finish areas, I remember feeling excited and ready to go ! Trying to keep my emotions at bay was tough, this race ment a lot to me as I’d put so much hard work into my training. That evening we both headed down into the hotel restaurant and I had my pre race tea, Pizza of course and it was so nice, not making any chances to my food was important. That night I laid my kit out for the morning, it wasn’t long before I was in bed and trying to get some sleep, hmm trying 😆 I did manage some, and the morning of the race was soon upon me.

View from our hotel room
Start area
Finish area
This way in the morning 😆

Race Day….. it’s race day and I was going through the motions in the morning, woke at 5:30am got my breakfast sorted out, 2 bagels with jam, honey and banana, just what I practice my long runs on in training so I knew this worked, and of course a coffee and a electrolyte drink. I got changed and used the toilet countless times 😆 😂. I prepared my gels, I made a tiny snip in them so they wore tear easy on the race, which worked perfectly, I used 6 High 5 gels on the day, 1 before the race started ( about 10 mins or so)

Headed to the start line I said my goodbyes to my girlfriend and did my warm up, which I did along the finishing straight, then headed to race village, I met Dontino from the Chatty Adventures YouTube channel, apologise if I’ve spelled your name wrong buddy 👍🏻, it was great to meet you and walk to the start line with you. In the starting area it was all very real now, I was keeping warm with a couple of tops over my race vest, but huge amounts of ppl there was quite a sight, and this was just in the sub 3 pen !!

The race was delayed until they cleared the course, but that didn’t take long, and before i knew it the gun went off and we where moving, the Marathon had begun! Eek 😱 😆. I saw the sub 3 pacer to my right so was keeping him in sight, the first mile was quicker than I wanted but it was so congested the crowds was moving you along and it was difficult to slow down as I was getting clipped, this was the case for the first few miles, 5k and came through in about 20min’s, and I found myself alongside the pacer, and got chatty to him, asked him what time was he gonna go through halfway at, 90 minutes he said, I wanted about 87/88 minutes so at the 10k mark I made a decision to push on, I went through 10k in 42min’s and already had my first gel, I planned on taking them every 30 minutes but also made sure I got a bottle of water at every water station which was 5k, so I just sipped on the water and poured some over my neck and wrists to keep my body temperature down as it was warm in the first few miles. Seeing my girlfriend about mile 5 was such a great sight and gave me a great boost. After mile 8 and lapping old Trafford many times in the first few miles 😆 😆, there was a long stretch until Halfway which was good and I could settle into a good rhythm, the pace was feeling so good at this point and I felt like I was holding myself back, but I wanted to get to at least 18 miles comfortably, I got to the half marathon point in 1:28 feeling good. I remember so many telling me get to Altrincham there was a killer hill, which surprised me, so I braced myself and as I reached about 16 miles I was there, now I personally didn’t find the hill all that bad, especially running some of the hills around where I lived in Grantham, sorry ! The crowds where amazing there, so much noise and support, gave you such a boost. There where some challenging inclines over flyovers, but aging nothing to bad. The race was still going really well and remember going through the 20 mile mark feeling really strong 💪🏻, so it was the case now of knuckling down and keeping strong mentally, the race plan was working so far, I got to Mile 23 and it started to get tough, I broke the race down in my head by 1/2 mile increments, kept telling myself to keep picking my feet up and moving forward, at this point I was seeing so many ppl stopping and dropping out, there was no chance of me stopping, this was my race today if I kept going and just kept moving forward! The weather conditions did change in the later stages of the race, a fine rain was coming down. Mile 25 came and I remember telling myself about a mile to go, keep going, you’ve got this!!! And before I knew it I was on the section where I did my warm up ! Which gave me a huge incentive to push on, before I knew it we turned left and was one the finishing straight, and I never thought I would be sprinting at the end of a marathon but I picked my legs up and got my feet turning and ran for my life down that straight, it felt like forever going down there, but I crossed line and I honestly could have cried!! Seeing the time on my watch saying 2:58 ! I did it ! I really did !! getting my medal and taking to other athletes and celebrating with them was so good, walking back to the athlete village and trying find my girlfriend, and when I finally did find her it was an amazing feeling i yes I could have cried again, it was hug which was definitely needed ☺️☺️☺️👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨

Above are a few races pictures and race stats. But I’ll conclude the race report here. I’ll pop down my post race feelings later on in the week in a separate blog, but thank you to everyone for there support, a special thank you Anna my girlfriend and to Gary my coach could not have done this without you.

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