Brighton marathon 14/04/2019

Charlotte Reed3.56.38FtBRONZE

… Brighton Marathon Part 1 ? . I arrived at Preston park around 9am. I was alone but feeling surprisingly calm. That was until I queued for 30mins at the bag drop just being moved from one lorry to another as they filled. I had a plan to use the toilets at the start line so I tried to remain calm and chat to the runners around me. ? . In the starting pen I felt all the emotion, I was in the blue wave, second to get to the start line. Unfortunately it seemed everyone had the same idea as me to use the toilet at the start line so I didn’t get across the line until 10:05, 20 mins after the official start. ? . The first few miles were congested, I spent lots of time weaving through other runners trying to get to my target pace, find some space and settle. I saw lots of my support crew over the first 5 miles which was amazing, I had found my pace, my space, and settled as we hit the sea front for the first time to head out towards Rottingdean. ? . The sun was glistening on the sea, the support from the crowd was amazing, a slight head wind but feeling good……

Brighton Marathon Part 2 ? . We hit 6 miles and I took my first gel. I had bumped into @runner_rick who is also from Norwich, we ran together for a while and had a lovely chat about the atmosphere, our goals and how we were feeling. I was currently running slightly faster than my target pace but felt strong and just kept reminding myself not to be a t*at ? . The incline to Rottingdean was good, and didn’t feel too hard on the legs. (Yes it is an incline for someone from Norfolk ?) There was an amazing water station with the best atmosphere at mile 7. It was electric and I was smiling. ? . Miles 7-10 passed pretty uneventfully, I had almost caught the sub 4 group and was feeling strong. I can do this ?? . We turned ready to head back down towards the sea front with the wind behind us again. The sun was beating down, the scenery was beautiful and everyone was in good spirits. ?? . At 10miles my left hip started to niggle, it’s fine, it’s just a niggle, just keep holding pace, one mile at a time. I saw my cheer squad at mile 11, almost half way ? .

Brighton Marathon Part 3 ? . I saw my auntie at the half way point high 5’s and hugs, I was still smiling but this niggle in my hip was still there. I’d made it to half way in 1.51:18, I was on for my dream time I just needed my hip to loosen. Second gel taken onboard, come on Charlotte you can do this! ? . Mile 14 and I saw my family, god I was so happy! I was in pain and I was starting to doubt I could do it, I didn’t want to let on to my family, so high 5’s and smiles as I turned the corner to head into Grand Avenue. At the top of the avenue I had more support from my college friend Clare who I haven’t seen for years! ? . The out and back through Hove was difficult. The crowd had come into the road and although they were amazing it meant the path was narrow for the runners. I got to 16 miles and I started to really struggle. Just 10 miles to go. You can do this just keep going! ? . I took another gel at 17 miles, earlier than planned but I felt like I needed something, I also took a small walk break before I got going again. I saw Clare and my family again at around 18miles. Still trying to keep the smile on my face for my family, I didn’t want them to know anything was wrong. ? . Mile 19 there was a water station, I stopped to refill my soft bottle in my hydration pack. I got going again and bang, my left glute was gone…..??

Brighton Marathon Part 4 ? . It’s taken me a while to write this one. My heart broke at 19 miles, I called my mum and told her it was over. I was walking, I couldn’t carry on. I’m done ? . My mum was amazing as always, she told me to stop putting so much pressure on myself and just do what I could to get to the finish line but do not give up! ? . I cried, I cried hard, I put my head down, I didn’t want anyone to see me, to see that I had failed. I walked/ran and it was hell, I was in so much pain. I just needed to get to the next mile marker and then take it from there one mile at a time ? . I was embarrassed going past the crowd feeling everyone will be thinking ‘look at her, she went out too hard’ or she ‘didn’t train hard enough’ but I had, I’d trained hard, so hard. ? . At mile 23 I had 30 minutes to get to the finish and break 4hours. I chanted to myself over and over, just keep moving, one foot in front of the other, do not give up! ? . I saw @claire.bishop again. I hugged her and sobbed, I didn’t want to let her go. She screamed at me telling me I could do it. I let her go and off I went, painful step after painful step. Come on Charlotte do not give up! ? . At mile 25 I saw @thinkingclarely we ran our first marathon together in 2016. She was now running her 20th! We had been here before in a world of pain and here we were reunited 3 years later both feeling the same pain. We stopped hugged, cried, put our heads down and off we went again. ? . The final miles are by far the hardest I’ve ever run, both physically and mentally. I’ve never wanted to give up so much in my life! ? . I sobbed as I ran towards the finish line, saw @emma_jayne05 and @bradshaw1536 screaming my name. I’ve done it, I’ve bloody done it! ? . 3.56:38 Brighton marathon you almost broke me but I’m coming back in 2020 to hit you harder, fitter and stronger. Until then…