Report from Ian Broadbent: I had hoped for a 3:45-4hrs but woke up on the Saturday full of cold. So I set off at a relaxed pace and pretty much kept going at that pace all the way round (obviously a lesson to be learned there) and finished in 4 hrs 14 mins, I was feeling so fit at the end I managed to carry my little one back 3 miles to the hotel on my shoulders. The crowds were once again amazing and there are few experiences like those last 3 miles where those watching just seem to pull you to the finish. I don’t know of any other event that brings together elite runners, fun runners and spectators – why can’t people in the world be so nice to each other like that very day? Was great to bump in to Billy at the start and I was royally looked after by Children with Cancer UK, who I ran for, at the end. I had promised Mrs B no more marathons because of the time spent training but got to say im wobbling on that promise already! Well done to everyone else and bring on the Harrogate League.
FRANK BERESFORD reports: After over 4 months of hard yet enjoyable training with under the excellent guidance of Peter Shields, I arrived for my marathon debut in London and really into the unknown as the longest run of my life before this was 21 miles.
I came to London feeling fresh and ready to go after forcing myself to taper (I found this the hardest part of my training). Before the race I met up with Liam in the championship pre-race tent. He gave me some handy tips and provided me with a much needed bin liner to keep me warm before the start.
The start of the marathon came quickly and I managed to contain my pace sensibly for the first few miles by running with Paula Radcliffe who was running at 5.40 minute mile pace and with the crowd shouting for her every moment of the way, I fed of this and settled into the group that was running with her. I was hoping she would run at this pace throughout the race and she could just “carry” me to a 2 hour 29 marathon time. Unfortunately by the forth mile she slowed and I had no choice but to press on. I passed the half-way point spot on time with a 1 hours 14 minutes and 54 seconds feeling good. I spotted Steve Way who I was surprised to see running and stuck with him working my way up the field. Unfortunately by mile 19 my legs where not happy with me and although aerobically fine, my legs where saying STOP. The reason for this I believe is I still need to increase the mileage but was unable to do so in preparation as my body has only just adjusted to the high mileage.
After mile 19 I just had to turn off my pain sensors and push on at a slightly slower pace to finish in an acceptable 2 hours 33 minutes and 3 seconds. Although I missed my rather optimistic target of sub 2 hours 30 minutes I am confident that I can improve on this time. I will be taking a week off before targeting a Marathon in Autumn (Berlin or Amsterdam), with my training involving higher mileages and longer tempo runs, so I can break the 2 hours 30 barrier.
I really enjoyed training for the marathon and the race itself, it really was a fantastic experience. I appreciate all the support I have received during the months of training and the large number of supporters who shouted for the “black and whites” during the race. It is always nice to hear a Yorkshire accent down south!
I look forward continuing my training and racing over the summer months.
Report from LIAM DUNNE: Having been disappointed at not getting under 2.45 last year, I really wanted to have another crack at the London Marathon in 2015. I picked up a back injury in early Dec and it kept me from running for most of that month, at this point I was contemplating not running London at all but with three months to go I jumped straight into the training.
My training consisted of 3-4 days training a week with Tom and sometimes Frank. Our training consisted of rep sessions, tempo, long runs at the weekend and a few races thrown in. I struggled throughout the training and found it really difficult, I was hoping that things would get easier but it never did as training with Tom for the most part was tough as he was in the form of his life and kept dropping me on most of the long runs. With the help of Mark Hall’s healing hands, a good diet and plenty of rest I started to feel good in the week leading up to the marathon.
Before the event I was staying at my Aunt’s house, which is a couple of miles from the start. It is perfect as pre-race lodgings: it’s peaceful for a good night’s sleep, the food is great and I get chauffeured to the start of the race. Plus, Mickey, the 50 year old tortoise, gave me a few tips on how to pace myself!
I had qualified for a Championship place and this brought a few privilages such as an area with more toilets, dry changing marque and nice warm-up area. The downsides were I had carry a bit more weight as I had to wear two numbers, two chips and worst of all I had to give up my Irish citizenship to become part of the great British empire for the day!
In the championship area I met up with Frank and we took a few snaps before getting the warm up in. Soon after we were led to the start not far behind the elite line-up and we were soon on our way. I felt great and was concentrating on holding back the pace but still managed to go off a little too fast. The crowds of supporters were just amazing and it makes you feel like you are really part of something special. The one real disappointment though was the placard from the crowd that read ‘Naked ladies half a mile ahead’ but somehow I managed to miss them!
My planned pace for the race was 6.15 all the way which would have got me sub 2.44 I felt really good during the race and was about a minute ahead of my planned pace until trouble struck the legs at mile 22, it suddenly felt like rigor mortis had set in and there was nothing I could do only battle to keep them going. Tom cruised passed me soon after mile 23 and offered a few words of encouragement but nothing could get my legs moving in rhythm again. I was disappointed to miss out on a sub 2.45 and crossed the line in just over 2hrs 46mins but maybe there is still some time to do it before I get too old. Well done to Frank, Tom and all the Otley AC runners, remember the pain is the same no matter what pace you run.
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