Last year, as some of you already know, was fairly miserable from the halfway point for me, when my legs packed in and I only just managed to finish. This year, I didn’t have the inconvenience of 90 minutes of football, 24 hours prior to the big day but I did have a dodgy knee from a hefty tackle two weeks earlier and without any training since then, and having only run 5 miles in any one go, I wasn’t exactly full of confidence.
However, pre-season obviously served me well and the knee support I borrowed off one of the lads running it with me helped me to get round. The knee was quite sore all the way round but not enough to stop me and other than that I felt great for most of it. Unfortunately, Scouse, who was running for the same charity, made the same mistake as me and played footy on the Saturday before travelling up. He suffered, just as I did last year, at about the 6 mile point and never really recovered but we dragged him round and we finished as a trio in a time of 2:13:01. Perhaps without Scouse’s fatigue, we might have hit the 2 hour mark or below but I’m just glad I got round at all really.
The emotions you go through are crazy really, when there are 50,000+ runners all gathered together with the same intention of getting round that course. And no matter what your fitness levels are, that 13.1 miles is a hard shift. There were people with heartbreaking tributes to daughters, husbands, friends and it’s impossible not to get caught up in the atmosphere and difficult to keep hold of your own emotions. But the overriding emotions fore me are pride and satisfaction. Proud of the achievement of the run itself and of the generous donations I’ve managed to get, and the satisfaction that I got round and actually enjoyed it this year. I ran with a smile on my face instead of a grimace and it made the whole experience so much more enjoyable.
There were some casualties along the way and I can only hope they recovered fully, though my heart goes out to those that fell painfully close to the finish line. I’d just like to say that everyone should be proud though. The region for staging it and the people supporting it. The locals and the people who travel from all over to take part and raise money. And the people who put their hard-earned money towards the good causes that people run for. All of those people help make the event as special as it’s become, and everyone deserves a massive pat on the back. I feel better for being part of it and I can’t wait for next year.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to my justgiving site – www.justgiving.com/Steve-Thompson.
There’s still time to donate if anyone is willing.
Particular thanks to those I haven’t yet thanked individually.
I’ve added some additional photos below as promised.