Liverpool Marathon 2018
Morning Pre Race
Well its Saturday 19th of May and day before Liverpool marathon also Royal wedding day. I wake early and get all my bags packed. Making sure I pack all the essentials first, running trainers, flip belt, gels, head buff, HR strap, socks, new running vest and shorts. Secondly I start packing a double overnight bag as my and my gorgeous girlfriend are making a weekend of it staying at Village Hotel Liverpool. We decided to do this has it meant quality time together and closer to start line on race day. So all bags packed time to sit down with my two girls and start watching the Royal wedding. Not a normal way to prepare for a marathon I accept that but it did relax me. Lots of celeb spotting as we ate breakfast and lots of admiring of the dresses not from me obviously.
As the wedding was about to start I had to take my daughter home as she wasn’t able to come watch me run. I came home watched rest of the wedding and then it was time to set off to Liverpool. They talk about nerves when its your first marathon but I seemed so calm, no fear or anything I felt so relaxed. We arrived at the hotel in good time and checked in, i’d updated our room before arrival as a surprise. This meant we had a comfier bed and full sky package, also meant we had free use of the health club. Once we checked in we headed for a swim and relax in the steam room and spa. Then it was time for tea.
Evening Pre Race
We decided to head up to Liverpool for our tea as there was a Zizzi restaurant in the main shopping complex there. Also this gave us a dry run to see how long it takes to get to start line for morning. A steady 25 minute drive and we arrive in centre of Liverpool. I’ve only been here once before 18 years ago when I worked in repro and boy has it changed since then. We went into the shopping complex and headed for the food area. Upon getting to Zizzi there was a big queue it so happened that there was an hour wait to be seated and get food. We decided to go to Pizza Express instead Thirty minute wait on food seemed reasonable. The waiter showed us to a table on the balcony a very nice spot although starting to cool.
To our surprise they sold Seedlip alcohol free spirit which my girlfriend really likes and I got a Bavaria alcohol free lager. We ordered food Pizza for my girl and Carbanari for myself, as needed to get my last bit of carbs in. Then 10 minutes later we got approached by manger “no Carbinari sorry” so I asked for lasagne “sorry out of that too, think were selling out as the marathon is on tomorrow” she said. My girlfriend laughed and said to her thats why he’s ordering it as he’s running tomorrow. Luckily I got another pesto pasta which was nice. We ate and then headed back to hotel.
The Worse Preparation
We got back to hotel via shops for some chocolate nibbles. We watched some tv and then decided on an early night so I was fully rested for the morning. All well and good bed was comfy and I went straight off to sleep. Then it happened full on commotion outside our room screaming shouting from two to three couples. We both awoke and couldn’t get back to sleep. The shouting went on for over an hour, I wasn’t prepared to go start a confrontation with said groups as didn’t know what would face me if I had. It all must of calmed down and I got some sleep but not best sleep. Alarm went off and time to get up and have breakfast day of the race.
Morning of race
We get all stuff ready to take to Liverpool Marathon so we could get straight off after breakfast. We get down in good time for breakfast and still I feel calm, no stress which I’m surprised about. I get my last bit of carbs in with some granola and pain au chocolates. Then my friend Sue arrives as were just finishing breakfast, she looked nervous. So I talked about how we would smash it and I tried to reassure her. We then got in car and headed to centre of Liverpool. We got to our pre arranged parking spot and walked into town for the start. Were in good time and the town is buzzing. Already some races taking place and the atmosphere was amazing, loads of music playing.
We headed to start line and soaked up the buzz. I got my girlfriend a map and let her know estimated times and places we would be so she could spot us. We took in our fluids and last bit of food. Also got our suncream on as the heat was almost unbearable. I slapped loads of factor 50 on. One last toilet stop and then it was time to line up. Kiss to my girl and off we headed.We were suppose to be in separate pens to start but we managed to get to start together. We filtered through to line where my girlfriend was there to see me of one last kiss and away we go.
The Race Tale of Two Halves
All started so well I was struggling to hold Sue back as I’m not sure if it was nerves or excitement she headed off quick. We were going well steady at around 12 minute mile average pace. lots of hills meant we were going slower than planned, plus the heat was23-24 degrees. This meant we were taking on all fluids we could get. We passed both local football clubs and back into town mile 10-11 and were going well I feel pretty good. I then get a boost I see my girlfriend and get a kiss to push me on for second half of race. We then head out to other side of town and hit mile 12 this is where it started to fall apart. Sue took on cramp in her right leg. I get her to an ambulance and they massage it. She decided to carry on then in mile 13 opposite leg get got cramp.
We had trained virtually together for this and are friends from OYNB and I wasn’t letting her quit. There were some in depth talks as we carried on. Together we made a decision that I wouldn’t leave her as she was telling me to do so. I said “I’m Getting you to the end together, we signed up together we finish together.” The decision we took was walk the hills of which there is many along the route of Liverpool Marathon, then jog the flats if possible. In all honesty I didn’t think Sue would complete it. Boy was I wrong that woman has some grit and determination. Together we completed the marathon, not in time we both wanted but together as we set out to do. So we have a marathon target now 6:03:49. I’m proud of you Sue.