Having been rejected for the London Marathon this year I decided to tackle Manchester marathon as quite a lot of Harriers had done it and enjoyed it. Spurred on by the fact that a good for age was possible. I had to beat last years’ time by 8 minutes to do so, so training started in January.
The Anniversary Waltz is a fell race held each year to celebrate the wedding anniversary of race organisers Steve and Wynn Cliff. For the past 21 yrs it has been held every April in the beautiful Newlands Valley in the heart of the Lake District. Sadly in January this year Steve passed away after losing his couragous battle with Motor Neorone Disease, so Wynn has decided this years race will probably be the last ever one.
One of my early memories as a child, was seeing the film The Italian Job and marvelling at the windy mountain roads in the opening scenes, with tree’s, lakes and chalets all around, wishing that one day I could drive along roads like that. Forget the driving part, the immense pleasure out of running a half marathon in such settings is far greater. Thus not in Italy, but in Poland, along with Christian Davies, Mark Gadie (Who didn’t compete in the half due to his careful rehab from injury) and our two Polish friends Grzegorz Simek and Wioleta Zurek, who are not East Hull Harriers (but I’m working on that ;-)) I made this childhood whim a reality.
As the end of February approached, I reflected on the first few weeks of 2018 against the intimidating prospect of tackling London – my first marathon since 2015. I’d exorcised the demons of Dewsbury, posting my first ever official sub-39 minute 10k; I’d taken 3 minutes off my Ferriby 10mile time, and according to Strava, I’d PB’d over 2 miles and 5km in training, and 10km, 15km, and 10 miles in races. Training had been going pretty well – I’d been able to up my mileage without any signs of injury, and to top it off, I’d managed to stick with the Suicide Squad for an entire two miles one night. So, it was with some confidence, and a spring in my stride, that I approached my next test in my road to marathon adequacy.