27th April 2016 AUTHOR: dwhite CATEGORIES: Event Report

Manchester Marathon 2016

I have always wanted to run a Marathon but somehow I have always managed to put it off making excuses of which there are many, until Hull Marathon 2015 when myself, Kadi, Carla and Mandy Davison decided to put a relay team together!  Where we witnessed many lady Harriers Janet Suddaby, Venessa Prescious, Shirley Oglesby, Janet Kay and Emma Wells to name a few run the full Marathon who all did brilliantly and the seed was set.

Mandy signed up first, I toyed with the idea of also joining up, I started filling in the on line entry form many a time and then backing out at the last minute, then one night after a few classes of wine I thought why not and finally clicked on the submit icon, then panicked thinking what had I done I won’t be able to run a marathon knowing what training had to be put in!  But I am so glad I did because really it was a blast.

Mandy and Janice had a training plan (Janice for London) and I jumped on the back of that as I had no idea where to start!  We had some really good runs thanks to Janice who somehow knew all the back country road routes, her job in the Police came in useful after all! But I must be honest I was so glad the training was finally over and the big day had arrived.  So bag packed! Car loaded! Kids picked up! Kadi and Carla.  Manchester here we come.  We arrived Saturday afternoon and met up with Mandy Davison, Venessa Precious, Chris Chesney and Janice Wilcock then onto Pasta Factory to meet up with Dave Cracknall, Sharon, Julie and Ken who had booked a pre -race quiet meal which I think we somehow gate crashed. Dave was really good not a drop of alcohol passed his lips – can’t say the same for us though. Then it was off to bed for an early night in our luxury hotel (we wish) after all we had a Marathon to run in the morning.

We set off from our Hotel at 7.30 as it was only up the road to the race start, thinking we had plenty of time to drop off our bags and get to our starting position but we had slightly miss calculated that process as by time we had got into our race area it was time to run we had also managed to lose Chris Chesney when we queued for the loos.   Mandy, Venessa and myself managed to start together with all the cheers from my kids, Janice Wilcock, Keith Conkerton, Iain McGowan and Sara Rookyard who had come along to support us crazy people.

The full experience from the training (groan) to the morning of the Marathon to the finish line – every bit of it was fantastic!  I’m not going to give a mile by mile account as there are too many to mention 26.2 to be precise, but I will say the course was really good and the spectators kept us all going with sweets, biscuits and reading all the placards that they had made some were very funny like “Smile if you have wee’d your pants a bit) and the constant clapping and cheering.  There were plenty of water stations and plenty of gells so we were well catered for.   Even at 18 miles when every part of my body was hurting, thinking I was about to hit this wall that people mention! People were cheering and calling my name which gave me a boost.  I started to break it down at 20 miles telling myself I have only 10k to run, I do that on club nights – easy. then at 23 miles only a parkrun to do – I can do a Parkrun easy – it’s strange really how you have a chat with yourself when things get tough and you have to dig deep to carry on, but I must say I was really happy to cross the finish line in a time 3.51 where my kids and friends were all cheering me on- it was very emotional and it’s something I will always remember. I got my medal and goodie bag and a pint of ale which I was really surprised that they were giving us beer- didn’t realise it was alcohol free until Kadi told me!! Disappointed that me as a well known drinker couldn’t tell the difference! Then Mandy and Venessa came in which was lovely to see as they had stuck with each other from the beginning to the end and in a really good time of 4.23 which was a PB for Venessa

Mandy Davison, Vanessa Precious and Linda Huart after the Manchester Marathon
Mandy Davison, Vanessa Precious and Linda Huart after the Manchester Marathon

Then it was off to the PUB it’s the LAW!!  for a well deserved pint or two of proper beer with many other Harriers who had ran and some who had come along to support us and that’s where Chris Chesney finally turned up! No idea where he had been all this time!

Well done to all the Lady Harriers who took part Mandy Davison, Venessa Precious, Susanne Wesson, Julie Salvidge and me I am so proud of us all, and not forgetting the guys who again all did brilliantly especially Chris Sumpton with his unique training plan.

What a brilliant weekend, with brilliant friends The Red Massive.

I will be travelling to London with Mandy Davison to support Janice Wilcock and all the other Harriers who will be flying the flag for Hull – good luck to you all.

Linda Huart

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