27th May 2016 AUTHOR: dwhite CATEGORIES: Event Report

99 marathons to go but Manchester ain’t one

Well I woke up at about 5:20am on race morning but I stayed in bed till 6:05am. Then I started to get ready, I left my hotel about 6:50 am to walk to the local metro station to catch a tram to old Trafford cricket ground. I got the tram and within no time at all I was at old Trafford for about 7:20am I met a guy on the tram and we hung around together talking for a while.

Later on I saw some of my friends mostly from running ninjas, it was the first time I had met them and we talked for a while whilst I got taped up with k tape.  I saw 3 East Hull Harriers and shook hands with them and we wished each other good luck. Also I saw someone else locally and talked to them for about a minute. Soon after that I went to toilet and afterwards I went to the start. For me the start area was a complete mess, people in the wrong areas and I had a hard time finding my friend who I was going to run with.

Soon after I started the race, the first few miles were a breeze; there were a lot of people giving me support from the Facebook groups I’m on. After a few miles I could see the Coronation Street set and the BBC Media Centre and the Imperial War Museum north. Soon after I was going past Old Trafford which I loved and then back to where everyone started. The first 1:30 hours were a breeze, however as I was going along the course I was expecting more people to be there.

A bit after I was on the way to Altrincham and it felt amazing, again I saw a lot of people who I know off Facebook groups and they cheered me on.  I was well under pace just before the roundabout, my race running friend said “you can go on if you want?” I decided to do so but I felt very guilty about it though and I kept on pace.  I thought the entertainment was good on the way to Altrincham, I saw one of my friends and was given a hug.

On my way to Altrincham and there were a lot of runners/marshals saying ” is that James Braithwaite off of Facebook” so I was very well supported, probably the most supported runner out there. So after that I crossed the 13.1 point in Altrincham I was a few minutes under pace after that I was struggling for pace out my way back from Altrincham the course was almost empty but I was still managing to overtake people on a bad pace.

I got to 17 miles and I was in bits thinking “I can’t take anymore ” but my big fan base carried me though to 19 miles.  I hit 19 miles on my watch and I was like where’s the sign and half a mile up the road the sign was there and if the sign was in the right place I would of got a better race time as I was thinking up to when I saw the sign ” I’m not that going to gain any time back”,  just after seeing the sign I had a bag of midget gems and as I got to 20 miles I had the energy to continue on at a happy pace for me then nearly 2 miles later just coming back from the countryside there was some really classic tunes, my favourite was Queen ” Don’t stop me now”, that kept me going for a bit.

James Braithwaite - post Manchester marathon with his medal
James Braithwaite – post Manchester marathon with his medal

At the mile 22 marker the marshals said last hill, later on I found out they lied which a lot of them had already said that to me about mile 23. Odd I was feeling tired again so I had 2 SIS gels and it kept me going, but even though I was not happy at the time with my pace, since about half way I was over taking people which was a bonus.

About mile 24 I saw a Facebook friends and I ran with her for a bit keeping at a happy pace and still over taking people, which I very much like doing.  We got to mile 25 and I thought not long to go, then a mile to go I was so happy I had started to enjoy the race again after those terrible 6 or so mile.  We got to the finish straight and a lot of people were cheering me on, so then we went for a final push and overtook 3 women, then I started sprinting and got past 3 other people, then everyone was cheering me which encourage me to run faster to complete the race in 6:21:04 to join the 1% club. I finished looked around then I ran to get my medal and received my goody bag and had a few pictures taken and saw another Facebook friend who congratulated me then I went to get a massage in the charity tent. I was buzzing I’d finally done it. I was really glad I had so much support off so many people at the race and people online who followed my training on Facebook it definitely made the difference and encouraged me along.

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