The general consensus amongst those in the know is that it takes 12 months to train properly for a marathon, so when Emma entered in November and talked Cam into joining her, a 5 month training plan was hastily devised. All was going well until Cam pulled a hamstring in March, leaving the way open for Sam (the hero) to take his place alongside Emma on the start line.
The Manchester Marathon is one of the UK’s premier running events, famous for its fast, flat and friendly route. It’s the 2nd biggest Marathon in the UK and the 4th biggest in Europe.
Once again the atmosphere in Greater Manchester was electric, with over 24,000 runners lacing up to take on the 26.2 mile challenge. Over 1,000 volunteers and 100,000 supporters lined the streets to cheer on the runners.
The elite field was the strongest to date, as the Manchester Marathon played host to the Commonwealth Games qualifiers, European Athletics Championship trials and the European 50K Championship qualifiers. With over 150 elite athletes signed up to compete for the coveted ‘top 3’ finisher positions, the best of British athletes were welcomed to the course.
The 9am start time for the Elites saw temperatures barely above freezing and layers were hastily stripped off as the race got underway…. The 11am start time for Emma and Sam was a more pleasant and sunny 10 degrees, perfect running and spectating conditions.
The pacing plan practised over many months was to stick to 10.30 minute miles bringing them home in sub 5 hours, all was going well until around Mile 9 when Emma started to feel sick, by Mile 16 she was green and had the inevitable portaloo stop to be sick. Hoping to start feeling better soon, Emma toughed it out for another 5 miles before taking the wise decision to withdraw and live to fight another day.
Sam, who had stayed with Emma throughout also withdrew at Mile 21, an amazing gesture from a true friend.
The short term disappointment was soon replaced by pride in having ran 21 miles whilst being unwell ( =7 parkruns = 28 laps of the Vinyards). Amazing.
The messages of support and encouragement from Tewkesbury Running Clubs members afterwards towards our 2 Hero’s was heartening to see.
It was only as the results were coming in that a certain Owen Grants name was spotted… running as part of the West Midlands Police Team…. His Incredible time of 2.40.46 is a new TRC record and helped his team win the Police Sport UK Marathon Championship. Congratulations Owen!
Final mention and thanks to the Best Support Crew of Dave, Nicky, Cam, Emma2, Ian Bell and Emma2’s friend. Happy Days.