Manchester Marathon- Race report by Dave P

Posted on: Monday 15th April 2024

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Race report by Dave Parry:

My Marathon Journey

After seeing how well Lostock did at last year’s Manchester Marathon, I had to sign up for this year. My training went pretty well helped by motivation and tips from seasoned marathon runners in the club. I had only one case of seized muscles, sorted out by a trip to see Gareth – the proof being a PB of 1:35 at Wigan Half.

On Saturday my horse in the family sweepstake won the national “I am Maximus”. Was that a Good Omen for the Marathon?

The big day started by catching a tram packed full of runners from my parents to Old Trafford. I then navigated my way to the Start Process and joined 2,000 other runners in the Green Wave with estimated finish of 3:30 – 3:45. As the race approached I’d decided to push for 3:30. Our wave started with a fanfare and flares and we were away. I tried to relax for the first 5k and next I knew we were surrounded by crowds on Deansgate up to Peter Street. I was cautious of buildings affecting GPS so took it easy until settling into a 4:50min/km pace on Chester Road, slightly faster than target but felt right.

I passed various bands along the way, but my favourite by far was the DJ under the M60 playing L’il Louis French Kiss as I passed. I kept up with gels and water every 5km and maintained the same pace. Altrincham was a highlight with fans 5 deep, but support was very good all round. I gave a big wave to my daughter Juniper on Brooklands Road at 19 miles, still feeling pretty good. When I left Sale to rejoin Chester Road I saw a sea of runners of later waves coming the other way. I had a slight twinge in the calf and had a salt tablet and eased off, but was spurred on by the bass reverberating out from the M60. I raised a fist in salute to the DJ , this time playing Underworld Dark and Long and then was back into my running

Coming into Chorlton after 35km, I was still feeling pretty good. I knew I would see my wife and family just past the four banks and started picking up the pace. I gave an emotional wave and then I was in the Zone weaving through runners with 4km to go.

I managed to keep this going, feeling strong for a few k, finish line grtting nearer…until I bonked with One Mile to Go. At this point it was a case of gritting teeth and repeating the mantra “I am Maximus” until finally ( I’m sure it wa two miles) crossing the finish line in 3:25, which was amazing 5 mins below target.

As a Green runner, I didn’t receive a medal, just the tee and can of 0% pills. Not decided yet if I regret that now.

Many many thanks for all the support and advice over the last year and the coveted Most Improved Athlete Award. It really made all the difference.


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