2nd June 2011

Edinburgh Marathon – 26.2 miles on foot

Viv Alexander

On 22 May, I did it, my first ever marathon and in a time of 4 hours and 46 minutes – I was really pleased!

After months of training and worrying about injuries, the day dawned. We’d travelled up a couple of days before and I was not sure that sightseeing around Edinburgh was the best race preparation – along with the the weather forecast which didn’t look too grand with rain and 45 mph winds.  At  least it was fairly sunny as we set off at 8.30am to walk to the start, though that Bin bag ondidn’t last very long – it started raining while waiting for the toilet.

Bin bag on and over to the start pen, armed with my gels, jelly babies and sports drink – I was fuelled up and ready to go!  I was in the purple pen which was the last wave to go off so after shivering for 20 minutes or so we were slowly moved forward to the start line – and finally we were off!  We had a bit of sunshine and the showers at this stage just helped to keep us cool as we made our way through Holyrood Park and out to Leith Links and Portobello Promenade.  At halfway I was feeling good and was on for my goal of under 5 hours.   Between 17 to 18 miles the course turns back and it was then that I realised just how strong that wind was, especially when the rain came with it! From 18 miles on running straight into a headwind was pretty exhausting – at times it felt as if I was running in slow motion! It didn’t matter if I ran or walked it all hurt – just different muscles!  It seemed as if everyone was suffering and about 70% of people were walking at various stages from about 20 miles on.I've done it!

From about 25 miles when I knew the end was near and I had loads of support I managed to pick it up and (sort of) sprint for the finish.  I was so happy to get to the end and collect my medal!

Overall, it was lovely and scenic along the coast and though not flat was pleasantly undulating.  There was plenty of support along the way, but on the coast there were sections where it was just the runners which was nice. I’ve also managed to raise valuable funds for British Heart Foundation, the charity I was supporting.

Would I do it again?  Yes, as long as my body lets me – I can’t wait!