This is the first in a series of articles highlighting the exploits of Wigan Harriers in spring Marathons. Paris, Manchester, Blackpool and London, we despatched record numbers of marathon runners to all four races in spectacular style. First up is the Morgan husband/wife combo Tony and April in marvellous Manchester.
The Morgan’s in Manchester!!
The day didn’t start well when my pre race drink had leaked and damaged my mobile phone and soaked my post race clothing but it was race day and time to focus on my Wigan Harriers debut.
I headed for the 5th row from the front in order to have a trouble free start whilst April started with the 3:15 pacer, at 09:00hrs the race was underway and I went through miles 1 & 2 in 6:30/6:28 min mile pace in order to find a clear run. April was sticking to the plan and seemed glued to the 3:15 pacer who was pacing perfectly.
Both myself and April were right on target at 5k, 10k & HM, Altrincham was the halfway point so a run through the town centre and straight back out heading into mile 14 at this point ours paths crossed with April on her way into the town. Mile 14 was a really bad period when all those demons in my head where trying to destroy my marathon and telling me to stop!! At mile 15 Tim Pilkington came passed me and said are you ok Tony my reply was no Tim going through a bad moment. Tim soon became a distant figure and I continued the fight with my head but I was still some how managing 6:50 pace from miles 15 – 21.
April had no issues with anything mentally for most of the 26.2 miles just a really bad group of runners with no idea of race etiquette constantly clipping heels and cutting up fellow runners to reach drinks but she still continued with the strong running mile after mile.
At mile 21 it was my turn to pass a club colleague and my turn to ask Tim Pilkington how he was feeling and the response was similar to mine, no problem I thought he will come through it over the next mile or so and probably pass me again. Miles 22, 23, 24 had me fading fast with each mile getting slower I managed to receive a bottle of water at 25 mile and a quick pour over the head got me back on track with Old Trafford in the distance and the Sub 3hr actually looking possible.
I then entered Sir Matt Busby way and couldn’t focus on my watch and found it difficult to read the official race clock “did it say 2:57:58 or 2:59:58”, it was then that Howard Avery came flying past shouting come on Tony we can do this and then I noticed it was reading 2:58:20 and eventually finished in 2:58:41.
Miles 21 – 25 for April were again right on target with the perfect pacing continuing and the sub 3:15 barrier was still achievable at this stage but it was at mile 26 that the 3:15 pacer and group started to move away at which point April could not respond and eventually crossed the finish line in 3:15:33 missing out on a new PB by 4 seconds and a Championship place at next years London Marathon by 34 seconds.
After the race we realised just how successful the day had been for the Morgan’s and everyone else at Wigan Harriers Endurance from those supporters, coaches and athletes.
Ps never run a marathon after interrupted training it’s too painful.
Tony & April