It’s done, we finished it and got round. Actually I should be a lot more positive but just feel rinsed out. Let me try again,
Gemma and myself finished our challenge of doing two marathons in two weeks and my sister in law Hannah finished her first ever marathon. The three of us ran the whole marathon together and got each other round and finished in less than 6 hours (our pre run target) and shared an experience we will never ever forget.
Much much more importantly, we raised over £4700 for Kids – a number I still can’t really get my head around.
We travelled up to Milton Keynes on the Sunday morning after a weekend celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday. I’m not sure the Kenyans have that much booze and food prior to a race but races need to be part of my life, they aren’t my life. Anyway, travelled up to MK and went over the road to the local shopping centre where I soon had to abandon ship and go back as I just kept getting lost!
Normal pre race, get stuff together, make sure you remembered to pack everything and pre-race carb loading at a pizza joint.
As I mentioned above, this marathon was all about Gemma and I doing our 2 in 2 weeks and Hannah doing her first ever marathon and her first race over a half. Quite honestly at this point I was more concerned about Gemma and I running together for a whole marathon and not divorcing !!! At least our kit was happy together !
Good breakfast and very quick drive to the MK Dons stadium where the marathon starts and finishes. Quite honestly it’s a perfect place to start a race. The stadium is used to holding loads of people, loads of space, loads of toilets and undercover. Perfect !
The message to myself:
– £4639 amount raised prior to the race
– Steady for 3. To remind me to be a steady Eddie and the three of us would finish which is all that mattered on the day.
The race started and was all pretty simple. By one mile I was thinking about pulling out… I just felt like I was 20 odd miles into an ultra. I just had nothing… I tried a number of things to see if I could get them working and nothing… The only thing I could do was try and get 5 meters ahead of Hannah and Gemma so they couldn’t see how much I was hurting and also use the fact that I was leading them to psychologically keep going. This worked till about 8-9 miles before I had to drop back and tell Gem what was going on. She was also going through her own challenges with her legs not playing ball but we just agreed to get to half and then see what happened.
Hannah meanwhile was awesome and just clicking through the miles.
From 13 miles onwards it was really just digging in territory trying to keep our pace up to come in under 6 hours and some run walking. This sentence doesn’t do justice to the sheer hard work, stubbornness and honest to god brilliance of Hannah and Gemma both in their own ways. Gemma was in full on pup mode pushing the pace to keep us making progress but not too much and Hannah just putting one foot in front of the other and just clicking through. I don’t think I heard Hannah complain once. She was just focused on getting there, getting the medal and being able to fulfil her obligation to all those people who had sponsored us. I couldn’t wish for a better pair of sisters to run with.
We were then met by Kathy, an old friend who gave us a bottle of prosecco and a packet of Percy pigs at the finish! She was up to watch her brother race and stayed on to wait for us!!!
A special mention has to go to Mark
Mark is Hannah’s husband, some might say long suffering but I’m not that brave. He was a man on a mission as our support crew! He met us 9 times I think round the course on his bike and had to supply egg sandwiches (Gemma), lucozade and cuddles (Hannah) and Vaseline for me! He was exactly what we needed, a friendly face every few miles and something to aim for. He has very much been part of our team from the very start and has known when to encourage or poke Hannah (OK that sounds bad but…)
So, in conclusion, the race itself was very good, well organised, great scenery after the first few miles as you go round the villages and parks but the only negative was they had run out of T-Shirts in my size, which really p1ssed me off. Can’t explain why but still does!
As for our challenge, we’ve raised more than we ever thought possible, I’ve pushed my body a little too far and it needs a break now but pleased it held up OK but much more importantly, when they decide to make the next superhero film the two leads need to be Hannah and Gemma. They were superhero’s on race day in their own ways and I think the reason I feel so rinsed out is partly because this challenge is over. What next?
Final word has to go to everyone who has supported us through the fundraising, cake sales, tennis marathons, messages of support, Hedgies and everybody else too numerous to mention. The support got us to take the next step when the going got tough to raise the money we did.