Leicester Half & Full Marathon – Sunday 15th October 2017
Well, the time had finally come to tackle the full marathon distance for the first time. Preparation was not ideal, but I was looking forward to this one in a masochistic kind of way!
It was great to meet up with Team Blake and the Taylor family for the all-important Saturday night carb-load session and Leicester-linked Jags Hilda and Netty on the morning of the race. A large field had gathered, with approximately 75% opting for the Half option. When the race started, the majority of the first 2 miles seemed fast and downhill and it was time for discipline when it came to pacing. Heading north out of the city, the streets were lined by enthusiastic locals and friendly marshals. Before we knew it, we were out in open countryside and the route took us through some picturesque villages, before turning for home.
After the half-marathoners had gone their separate ways on approximately 6 miles, the field thinned-out dramatically and there was almost the feel of a Sunday training run for long stretches. A bit of climb on 15 miles and then the long run back towards Leicester. For me, the first 16 miles was great. 16-20 miles, however, I began to realise what I had let myself in for and by the start of the 23rd mile the wheels began to come off, with cramp in both feet and ‘that voice’ telling me I should have a little walk! So, with a walk-run strategy (!) adopted for the last 3.5 miles I headed into the city centre and lost my earlier cheery persona, but thankfully managed the gruelling last uphill mile to cross the line.
Over the next 30 minutes or so I went through just about every emotion, but was ultimately pretty happy with my first attempt at the distance. It was great to see Dean and Emma at the finish after their brilliant runs (in the full and half respectively), before cheering Paul over the line.
A great weekend overall and one that certainly gave me a taste for longer races (I seem to have accidentally entered Manchester Marathon in April…).
|Emma Blake||1.40.18||YES & AGE GROUP RECORD||GOLD|