17757473_10158431963320526_1975392065353937988_nI have wanted to run a marathon for a number of years now but not quite had the confidence to attempt it. I never for one moment thought the motivation would come from losing my cousin.

Gary’s untimely passing at just 43 last year has left an empty spot in the 2017 Brighton Marathon. Gary worked for a charity, “Albion In the Community” and was tireless in pushing himself to great sporting lengths to raise funds for their causes. In the process, as those that knew him will know, he lifted the morale and spirits of all who came across him.

Well, I’ve decided to accept the challenge created by that empty spot.

I ran in the Brighton Marathon on 9th April 2017 to raise as much money as possible for Gary’s chosen charity to support their extensive work across Sussex. I had 16 weeks to prepare and take my half marathon ready body to a whole new level. It was really time to raise my game.

That gave me just 16 weeks to raise my game. It was pretty daunting, but, sod it, I pushed forward and got myself a training plan.

I drove down to Brighton the day before to make sure I had plenty of time, when we arrived I went to pick up my race number and to ensure everything was in order

Brighton marathon number pick up

Brighton marathon number pick up

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The morning of the marathon I was nurvous. I have actually never felt anyhting like it. Then i dawned on me that mist people were. The event commentator hurded us into our time allocated pens and asked for a show of hands to say who was doing the marathon for the first time. I would say 70% were doing there 1st. The tense atmosphere went around the field we were waiting in and the atmosphere was one of dread.

Running a marathon for the first time

Running a marathon for the first time

What made the start even worst was the weather, it was expected to be the hottest day of the year in Brighton so we all plastered ourselves in suncream and luckily i had my sons hat in the boot of the car which was an absolute godsend.  Granted I looked like a prat but at least my head wouldn’t get burnt!

All set for the Marathon Hot weather

All set for the Marathon Hot weather

Brighton Marathon pens all ready to start

Brighton Marathon pens all ready to start

The race started and the waves of people started moving forward like a scene from a zombie film. The size of the task hadn’t hit me until the 3rd mile when i ran past a lady hobbling down the road crying her heart out. She was done. All the training all the preparation and injured within the firs 3 miles. I was gutted for her. All i could do was focus and run my race.

At the 16th mile my niggling injuries started to show// bad calf pulled hamstring sore knees everything hurt. I couldn’t stop. The thought of stopping knocked me sick. The heat was mammoth I just needed to get to 20 miles and coast the last 10k. It wasn’t that easy, Brighton is hillier than i thought it would be and my word it gave a lot of people one hell of a beating! there were bodys every 200/300 yards with St Johns Ambulance people in attendance – heat stroke was winning!

The final 4 miles was along the front, a beautiful breeze hit me and the rest of the runner all pushing to the end goal while people sat down drinking pims cheering us on by the side.

brighton Marathon 2017 Medal

Brighton Marathon 2017 Medal

The end was in sight and the emotion was overwhelming, the finish – the end. Amazing, I felt like crying but my body was taking my mind off it – shattered – starving and in desperate need of an ice bath I went to the beach and sat in a deckchair for about an hour after.