The Runner is victorious & the Quitter is vanquished

Crikey. I have completely surprised myself today. In church at 8am I would have paid you cold hard cash for a good reason to pull out of today’s race. Then I figured that of all outcomes, the worst would be to quit before I even made the start line. So I scoffed my bananas and currant buns (the latter probably not an official athletic option).
It’s windy today, but mild, so I wasn’t hugely bundled up and so was mildly bloomin’ cold at the start- not for long, though.
Maybe it was because I was a bit stressed about it, maybe because I’d decided to treat it like a long Sunday run, but the first mile marker arrived really soon. I’d covered the first mile in 8:59 – bearing in mind that last year, my flat-out mile times were 8:30ish that was a surprise. I was 45min at 5 miles… My planned take-it-easy run was coming in way quicker than 10min miles. I remember last year having really leaden legs in the last couple of miles, so knowing I had time to spare was a help. There were places with a headwind (mile 13) and places with just general blusteriness – but it was weaker and warmer than 2009 and didn’t trouble me. I just imagined the wind as air-conditioning or as a way of taking bigger breaths. What did trouble me was the earworm song – Musical Youth’s Pass the Duchy on the left hand side – I mean, where did that come from?
Just after mile 12 is a bridge over the railway. This was where the race walker overtook me in 2009 so it’s now a point of reference – how am I doing? I was looking out for the railway lines well in advance. Down the other side of the bridge, round a corner and straight into a headwind. At this point I distracted myself by naming and thanking God for as many parts of my body as I could remember (what *is* the name for the back of my knee?) I had only got as far as the spine when the 13 mile marker appeared and with it the finish line – across soggy grass, watching the clock at 2:04:xx and wondering how on earth I’d run so fast?
Checking the times I recorded for each mile I see I have a long way to go to get the hang of negative splits!



  1. It’ll take some time for me to be unconvinced that they didn’t measure the miles short. That’s the only explanation I can think of!

  2. Congratulations + Well Done!

    A friend once said to me about his marathon, “the really amazing thing is not that I finished – its that I started!”

    (By the way, you are missing one of your split times)

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