Wigan Harriers own Darren Jackson lined up in London for his first attempt at the 26.2 distance after solid training build up. Running for the Ron Pickering Trust the pressure was on for our Marathon debutante, and Darren confessed to feeling the nerves jangling as he waited for the off at Blackheath.
He set off at a good pace and passed through the half marathon point in an impressive 1:38. It was at this point that a niggling hip flexor issue begin to make itself known. A drop in pace allowed him to continue until accosting a St Johns Ambulance volunter who he press-ganged into performing a hip flexor sports massage, (something of a change from their normal duties handing out vaseline and plasters!).
At 19 miles the marathon begin to bite and Darren was locked into the mental battle familiar to so many distance runners when the body wants to give up but the will to finish drives us on. Darren wasn’t about to admit defeat after logging all those tough Winter training miles, and he focussed on the advice given before the race by fellow Wigan Harriers to run through the tired legs and enjoy it.
The last 10k were a mix of pain and joy as he fially crossed the line to record a 3:51:50. It may not have been the time he hoped for but the row of blisters on every toe end is testimony to the effort and determination it took to run through agony, (and a sign that he needs bigger running shoes too!). His fellow passengers in the first class carriage back to Wigan may not have been as impressed as he displayed his war wounds on the way home though…
The last we saw of Darren he was jetting off to Lanzarote to bathe his weary feet in the sea, but he sent his thanks to Dave the coach and the rest of the Wigan Harriers Endurance Group for all their help and support on the way to his first Marathon finish. Super-Darren will surely be back to run another 26.2 in the not too distant future….