Manchester Marathon - 10/04/16
Report by Caroline Chinnock
I would never of thought in February 2012 when I decided to put on a pair of trainers and go for a run (instead of sitting for 2 hours most nights on a poolside, drinking lattes, eating biscuits and gossiping whilst my daughter swam) that I would ever complete a marathon.
On Sunday 10th April 2016, 5 members of New Marske Harriers, which included Joanne Goldsmith, Stewart Hart, Neil Walker, Glen Farrell and myself travelled to Manchester to run their marathon.
I did not see the other 4 members of New Marske Harriers as they started further towards the front as I was stood in the ‘happy to finish’ section.
As I stood wearing my new club vest waiting to start I was filled with mixed emotions, extremely nervous yet excited at the same time.
My goal was first to finish the run, second not to come last and third if possible finish under 5 hours.
My strategy was to stay with the 5 hour pacer for majority of the course and if I was able to, pull away from them. However, she seemed to set off at a lot faster pace. I then had the dilemma of ‘do I try and keep up with the pacer’ or ‘listen to my body and remain at the pace I was running at’. I decided on the latter as I recalled the inspirational words of my coach, Graham Hall ‘you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube’.
A couple of miles in and my nerves settled as did my pace to 11 minute miles and I started to enjoy it.
The highlight for a lot of the runners I was close to was passing the Coronation Street Studios between mile 2 and 3, quite a few took selfies with the studios in the background.
Reaching approximately 4.5 miles it was encouraging to see my husband Brian and Graham and Diane Hall cheering as I passed.
The atmosphere was fantastic as were the supporters and marshals who lined the majority of the course. The entertainment along the course was amazing and certainly helped to carry me around the course.
Between mile 16 and 17 I caught up to the 5 hours pacer and managed to pass her. At mile 17 I was met by Brian, who ran a short distance with me to where Diane and Graham were stood. It is hard to believe how seeing familiar and friendly faces if only for a short period of time can raise your spirits and give you the encouragement and determination to keep plodding on. Brian left me before kindly reminding me that I only had another 9 miles to go. Brian, Diane and Graham then made their way back to the mile 25, which is where I next saw them.
When I reached mile 20 I thought right, I did this 4 weeks ago at Locke Park every mile after this is a bonus. I still felt good, although my pace had dropped slightly to 11.08 minute miles but I was gradually passing more and more runners.
Mile 23 and my thoughts were ‘only a park run left’, I can do this.
It was around mile 25, when I next saw Brian and he ran the remainder of the course with me. This really spurred me on and increased my running pace. When we passed Diane and Graham the end was in sight and at this point all I wanted to do was to finish.
As I crossed the finish line I felt elated and had a lump in my throat. I could not believe I had actually ran it, finished and how emotional I felt. All those months of training had finally paid off.
I said I wanted to run one marathon and that would be it, but running is addictive as is the buzz you feel at the end. I will certainly consider running another marathon in the future.
I would like thank Diane and Graham Hall for all their support, assistance and encouragement they have given me. Without them I would never have had the confidence to enter this event. (4;52:07)
ED: Well done also to Glenn Farrell PB 2:55:39 amd Jo Goldsmith 3:33:41