So I never thought I would actually get round to doing this but low and behold, I finally ran my first marathon. I’d planned it as part of my training for my first Ironman but that has been cancelled so many times now that I’m not sure I’ll ever get round to doing one!

Me at the finish with the guys.

This marathon has also been cancelled several times but EMF had decided to give people the option to run this virtually. I’m really glad that I agreed to this as it kept me motivated over the winter and prevented the second half of the pandemic looking as dull and tedious as the first half.

Me and Simon about to start.

I suppose I should say a few words about the “race” and the overall experience of the day. Well, I don’t really want to sound that negative about it as it was a great achievement but I guess I was expecting more. When I think of a marathon, I think if roaring crowds, massive personal accomplishment, hitting the wall, staring down huge adversity etc. However, there really wasn’t any of that.

The Kids!

I think the virtual nature of the event made it just feel like a long training run. We had the benefit of our amazing families running aid stations for us and it was a real pick-up to see them. However, it didn’t ever really feel like we were doing anything out of the ordinary.

Aid Station 1

I’m not saying it wasn’t difficult. There were a few points where I wondered “when is this going to be over” but that’s about it. I kept my Garmin on heart rate and kept it at 145 or lower and I think due to that, I never really felt out of my comfort zone. I imagine a formal marathon race day has a very different feeling and things like “comfort zones” go out the window.

This doesn’t really look like running but I assure you we were.

One of the other issues on the day was that the roads were so busy that we decided to do a fair bit on trails. They were quite dusty and sandy due to the heat. It made it easy on the feet but hard on the legs. That said, we were lucky there was a har for most of the morning which kept us cooler than expected.

Simon and Iain on the John Muir Trail

Despite all my moaning, I did have a great day out and it did seem like quite an achievement to have run that distance. However, testament to the fact I feel I missed out on something, I signed up for next year’s race almost immediately. Let’s hope it’s not virtual!

Me with Isla and Romilly at the finish.

Big thanks to the wives and kids who were a fantastic support in the lead up to the event and the on-the-day excellence. Also massive thanks to Iain for putting up with my slowness for the last year and Simon for joining us on the day. Hopefully we’ll do it all again properly next year.

A bit more of the trail. Hopefully this is the beginning of many more endurance running event.

Also a wee nod to for the sponsorship tees and beers!!!