John Hannan running Edinburgh marathon

John writes:

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.

The run

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.


John and Mat after the marathon
John and Mat after the marathon

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.

John Hannan, HSQE director
Author: John Hannan, HSQE director


There is more information about the route and the marathon on the Edinburgh Marathon website.




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