London Marathon by Paul Bryers

After really enjoying London last year and getting a time of 3:17, I decided to have another go this year and aim for 3:10. Coach Waddi gave me my plan and at the end of December I started training 6 days a week. Everything went well in training as I had Gaz Holland as my side kick on most runs as he was doing Manchester marathon. I PB in 5k, 10k and half marathon along the way, so coming into the late stages of training Waddi was pushing me to go for a faster time.We travelled down to London on the Friday so I could take it easy on the Saturday just going to the expo then it was time to relax.

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Sunday morning, up early and raring to go. It was quite a cold morning so couldn’t complain about the weather and it this point just wanted to get going. As the race started I soon got into my race pace and the first few miles flew past. When the route merge together I saw Mike Harris across the many runners on the opposite side of the road. I didn’t want to waste energy so didn’t alter my route and concentrated on my pace.

Soon I had passed Cutty Sark and now just focusing on my pace and looking for Tower Bridge. As I crossed the bridge the crowds were so loud I could hardy hear the gaggle of Harriers which had made it down to London to show their support. It gave me a massive boost of energy and kept me going. My aim was to keep with the 3hr pacer until 18-19 miles and see how I felt, so after passing half way I tried to relax and get to mile 18.

I passed 18 miles and still felt ok. After about 191/2 miles you run around a roundabout and head in the opposite direction. As I was running away from the roundabout a hear someone shout my name, as I looked across the many runners I could see a fellow Harrier smiling away at me. It was Tim, looking relaxed and running well. As I passed the 20 mile stage a was slowing down and could feel my legs start to feel heavy. All I could hear was Waddi’s voice in my head telling me to “dig deep”. Coming back towards Tower
bridge again the shouts from the many Harriers kept me going and as I passed Lisa, my wife it give me a massive boost just to see her as she was down there by herself and had been in the same position for nearly 4 hours.

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Head back down and tried to pick the pace back up for the last 4 miles but I could just feel twinges of cramp in my legs trying to stop me. Big Ben was a glorious sight as it came into view and I knew I was nearly there. As I saw the 800mt to go sign I started to pick up the pace. That last 800mts felt like 800 miles. As I crossed the line I looked down at my watch and had finished in 3:04:38.

I was really pleased with my time and would defiantly recommend the marathon to everyone who hasn’t done it. The crowds are amazing and keep you going when your feeling tired.

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