Thursday, 31 May 2012

Edinburgh Marathon - Team Relay

Picture the scene, the sun is splitting the sky, it's a baking hot 21 degrees and you are standing in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, ready to run 8.4 miles of a relay. Life could not be better.

The atmosphere was great and 10am could not come quick enough, I was super keen to get running. With 5 minutes to go I decided it was time to turn on my Garmin 305 and lock in to the satellites. But my watch had other plans. I was holding down the power button till my finger was sore, but no dice, my watch wanted a lie in today.

'Quick download the app Run-Keeper on your phone, its better than nothing!' was the sound advice from the lovely Charlotte. I was anxious, and could feel my world caving in. I am a creature of habit when I run, and didn't know what I would do without my pace keeping companion on my wrist.

The Run Keeper app is actually very good and I would recommend it to anybody. It played my custom made relay playlist and every 5 minutes it would interrupt and tell me my pace and distance ran. I was actually running a lot faster than target pace because I was not constantly looking at my watch.

I was hoping to run the 8.4 miles in about 1hr 10 minutes, so at mile six, when I was about 6 minutes ahead of target, I felt great. The sun did little to slow me down, and I really felt like I was flying. There was something lovely about running faster than all the marathon runners (I was kind of cheating only running a 1/3 of the way), but my pace was much quicker, meaning I spent an hour over-taking people. I felt like the fastest man alive.

When I was in Portobello, my great friends Helen and Euan were there to cheer me on, Euan took the picture below - look how happy I look!! Seeing them gave me a boost and I started running even faster. Charlotte had driven to the finish line so I knew when I saw here I could just sprint to the finish.

The relay handover was quick and painless (considering I had never met Katie, my team mate). I gave her the band and she was off like a shot, after a quick and awkward "Lovely to meet you - have a nice race!"

I had finished my leg of the race in just under an hour - 59 mins 32 secs in fact! The rest of the team ran 'relay' well and we actually finished in just over 3.5 hours. Out of 701 teams we came 57th, which we were all very chuffed with.

Chocolate milk in hand and medal round my neck I was filled with the desire to run the full Edinburgh Marathon next year. You may think it was just the adrenaline talking, but after a few nights sleep I am still hungry for 26.2 miles. Maybe I will win the whole thing?

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