I ran the Edinburgh Marathon on 29 May to raise money for charity Bloodwise.
I managed just under three hours, at 2.59.02.
So far I’ve raised £844.02 of my £1,000 target and I’m hopeful I’ll get to the goal before my heels cool down. If you’d like to help, please go to my JustGiving page.
Before the race
I went with Mat Matibini who is from the same running club: Leigh-on-Sea Striders. He did remarkably well at 2.48; I’m not going to let him get too far out of my sights.
We got to Edinburgh the day before the race. There were several races on over the weekend: 5k, 10k, half marathons and the full marathon. (I’m not fast enough for the shorter races – I’m a slow burner.) Munster were playing Connaught in Maryland, too, so the place was chock-a-block with sports enthusiasts.
We’d been eating for three days, carbohydrate loading. We must have consumed about 8,000 calories a day. So after we’d checked in to the Haymarket, we went to a restaurant and feasted on pasta – it was lovely. On the race morning we had lots of proper Scottish porridge for breakfast, and then got the train to the start.
I thought I’d chance my arm and told them I’d finish in three hours. And it paid off! I started at 09:50 in the pen for the faster athletes behind the Elite runners. I got swallowed up with all the people running really fast, so I just went along with them.
The weather started off nice and overcast, as we ran towards Musselborough, though the sun came out later.
Along the way there was a visually impaired Irish paralympian who was trying to achieve sub-2.50 to get to Rio. I stayed with him for about the first 10 miles, but then I left him to it – he was going too fast for me. At the end of the race he’d made the time he needed, and I’d sneaked in under three hours. I finished at 12:49, and came 123rd overall. Not too bad out of over 6500 entrants!
Edinburgh is a beautiful city and it was an extremely well organised event.
Immediately on completing we got the usual photos. The sun had broken out at this stage.
I wanted to tell everyone I’d done it, but I hadn’t got the wherewithal to string a sentence together. I borrowed someone’s phone to send a text to my missus to tell her I was still alive, and I was so buzzed I sent it to the wrong number. So someone has a photo of me with thumbs up on their phone!
I made my way to the physios’ tent, where the cramping and pains started. The physio massage helped with the cramping. We took on a lot of water to rehydrate. Then we got changed and made our way back towards Edinburgh for some more much-needed hydration with some post-marathon refreshments. Because I was feeling iron-deficient, it did include some Guinness!
On Monday I went for a 2.5 mile run round Edinburgh to ease the niggles and see the sights. Then I returned to London on Monday evening. It was all well worth it if I can reach my total for Bloodwise cancer charity, which is VGC’s charity for 2016.
Back to normal
Tuesday was my recovery day. I spent some quality time with my family – they’d started not to recognise me after the amount of training I’d been doing in the evenings after work.
It was back to work as usual on Wednesday, starting with a safety meeting with Costain, and then back to the office. In the evening I went for a short jog with my eight-year-old son – at a more respectable pace.
I feel fine, and I’m ready for the next challenge – that’ll be the Southend half marathon.
There is more information about the route and the marathon on the Edinburgh Marathon website.