Last weekend I travelled up to Liverpool to take on my 2rd Marathon. My 2nd in 2015. It was only 9 weeks since I’d ran Brighton but I was injured and shouldn’t have even been considering running. But I’m stubborn.
Numbers had arrived in the post so I didn’t need to visit the expo but we had a quick visit on Saturday, it was much smaller than Brighton and had nothing of real interest, although they did have a photobooth which me and Kerry (from the awesome 15 marathons in 15 months blog) popped into after our 5k on the Saturday. And we were also able to collect our race tshirts. I was glad of this as by the time I finished on Sunday they only had XL available!
Sunday morning arrived all too quick and as the start line was less than 100m from the front door of our hotel we were able to watch the runners setting off for the half marathon at 9am. The half was huge and I had visions of the marathon being the same. It wasn’t! It was about a 1/4 of the amount of runners who had partaken in the half. The pacers didn’t line up in order and it made for quite a confusing start.
We got off in reasonable time and I quickly lost the girls I had started with. Before mile 2 I needed a toilet stop and was glad to see one by the side of the road. A few runners felt the same and we were all practically stripping off in the street so we could dash in and out as fast as possible! There was music at regular intervals which made for a nice break up.
Mile 2 saw my little support crew and then a nice steady uphill and around to Goodison Park. It was at this point I spotted a couple of OCR tshirts and got chatting to them for a good 5/6 miles which kept me distracted as the early miles ticked by. I was incredibly grateful for their chat and it was nice to talk about something more interesting than marathon running!
Around mile 13 the sickness started to kick in, this is something I’ve struggled with in all my marathons. This time around I hadn’t been taking on sweet stuff regularly so I was gutted when it happened again. 13 to 14 got incredibly hot and the small bits of shade in the park we were in were so welcome it was mental. I got to the point where I removed my top. Who cares if I have a mum tum, comfort came into it!
We then moved into Sefton Park. I was really struggling now and as I came in my little support crew were there, I walked a mile or so with my girlfriend which was nice before heading off around the outskirts of Sefton Park. Mile 18 saw us go down Penny Lane which as a Beatles fan was kinda cool! Before heading back into the park for mile 19. I knew my support crew were around there somewhere but I spotted Kerrys friend first and she walked with me a bit. Shortly after the ‘Sag Wagon’ aka sweeper bus caught me up so I maintained their pace for a while before agreeing I couldn’t keep to that for the rest of the route, I was having massive waves of nausea again but was determined I wasn’t going to get on the bus.
The bus went off into the distance and at around 21 two of the girls got off and walked with me for a bit, we eventually made it onto the riverfront at mile 22 and in theory it was now a straight run down to the finish. But when your feeling so sick you keep having to lie down on the pavement it felt damn long! I think had I not had my support crew waiting for me at the finish I would have packed it in. I just couldn’t find the energy to keep moving but somehow I did. Somewhere along the way we picked up a lovely OAP who showed us where we needed to go as by now they had been taking away the tape etc. She was awesome as she ended up just talking at me with me not needing to respond much other than to grunt or nod or agree. It was the distraction I needed. Eventually the finish line was in sight and it was all over. There was a point where I never thought I’d get to that.
Being one of the last finishers in meant they were busy packing up. We had known their was a tight cut off and it had been a concern for a few people. It is not a race I would recommend for anyone who runs slower than a 5.30 pace as its not big, you spend alot of it alone and for the most part there was zero atmosphere and support. The most atmosphere came from the little snippets when you were next to a band.
The medal is great, the tshirt is already fading in the wash. Will I be going back? No. Did I complete another marathon for The Lullaby Trust in Matilda Mae’s memory, hell yes! And that is all that counts!