Race day had finally arrived; the hardest part was over, my body had endured the 3 months of hard training and I’d made it to the start line in one piece.
I had the luxury of the championship start this year, a sectioned off area in the corner of the blue start area. No queuing for toilets as there were enough spread out for everyone, and you could keep your warm clothes on right up until it was time to line up as the baggage lorry was alongside our warm up area.
I lined up along with the other runners and we were walked slowly towards the start line, I ended up 3 rows back from the front, close enough to touch the worlds elite, and managed to get myself in view of the cameras.
The stampede started and it took awhile to settle in to race pace, I’d decided to break the race down into 5-mile segments, trying to hit the 30-minute mark for each of these. The miles soon passed, and I cruised through the ½ marathon mark in 1:19:01, bang on target. But as I reached the 16-mile point my calves decided to give up on me, I slowed down dramatically as every step was painful on landing, and seriously doubted whether I would finish. As I approached the 20-mile mark a quick glance at the watch told me I was still running at a reasonable pace and could break 2:45, I carried on, and started acknowledging the tremendous support from the crowds, with every wave I gave the cheers would go up again. This continued through the remainder on the race, and really helped me get through to the finish. I eventually crossed the line in 2:43:09 a Pb, but someway off what I was capable of achieving had everything gone right on the day.
I collected my belongings and headed straight back to my hotel, feeling frustrated at what could have been. Apart from my calves, the rest of me felt fresh and I didn’t feel as though I’d run a marathon.
Finishing time: 2:43:09; Position Overall 257 th; Gender 254 th
Welsh champ position Overall 12 th Age group 4 th (provisionally)