Let’s run another marathon

I’m writing this having just got home from the London Marathon Expo, or the London Marathon Running Show as it’s now officially called. I’ve got my number, my bag, some freebies, a t-shirt and some Runderwear. Luckily today is also payday! Brighton is firmly in the rear view mirror now and I’m totally focused on my 5th marathon in London. My first one was 1988, and I posted this photo on Instagram this morning, which got some great responses. That was the 8th running of the event, and of course next year will be a special one, being the 40th running. There then followed a 24 year break from marathons before I ran it again in 2012, and I’ve since run it in 2014 and 2016.

I enjoyed the running show. I braved the rush hour traffic to drive the O2 and take the cable car across the Thames, and managed to get there by 10:30am so it was still fairly quiet. After picking up my number, kit bag and timing chip I made my way to the main stage and listened to a couple of interesting presentations from Geoff Wightman and Martin Yelling. Geoff was a very good runner in Kent back in the day, and these days is better known for being one of the announcers at major UK athletics meets as well as being the father of up and coming middle distance runner Jake Wightman. Martin is a coach and the host of the excellent Marathon Talk podcast, and I was lucky enough to get a photo with him afterwards.

After that I had an hour or so wandering around the show. There is plenty to see and do with loads of stands from running companies, races and charities, as well as the treadmill challenge that Mo Farah managed to mess up somewhat yesterday! Although it appears it wasn’t the worst thing that happened to him yesterday if you believe the press reports. Possibly not the best build-up he could have.

Having been unsuccessful in both the main and club ballots for a place this race wasn’t in my plan, but then somewhat unexpectedly someone decided not to take up their club place and I was lucky enough to get it when another draw was made. Brighton remained my ‘A’ race, but having never done two marathons so close together I was curious to see what it would be like.

I’m fortunate that I don’t tend to suffer too badly after marathons, and any soreness in legs usually disappears within a couple of days. Of course I realise that the residual effects will continue to linger for longer, so I’ve taken it fairly easy after Brighton, just doing a few easy runs, with a final one planned for tomorrow. The legs actually feel OK, and I was able to pick up the pace a little at the end of Maidstone Parkrun last weekend which was encouraging. I have to admit however to having a few beers over the Easter weekend, I’m blaming the warm weather! I did manage to resist the temptation to scoff my Easter egg though, I’m saving that for after Sunday.

Speaking of the weather it looks like I’m going to get lucky again, with conditions forecast to be cloudy and not too warm. My main aim on Sunday is to enjoy the day. I have no particular time goal in mind, I’m going to set off at around 10 minute mile pace and just see how things develop. If I’m feeling good after Tower Bridge perhaps I’ll pick up the pace a little, if not I’ll just keep it going and hope to run all the way again,and if I can do that I guess I’ll be inside 4 hours 30 minutes.

I’m particularly looking forward to seeing all my friends from the Harriers at their marshalling points at Tower Bridge and Tower Hill, it always gives me a boost when I see them, especially at Tower Hill because once I’m past there I know that I’m closing in on the finish. It’s always a fun day out as we all go up by coach together, although the 5am alarm may not be quite so much fun!

For the first time this year I’m actually starting on the green start, which apparently is where the celebrities and good for age runners start. I’m not sure which one I am, although looking at the list of ‘celebrities’ I might be as well known as some of them!

If you’re running, marshalling, spectating or just following on TV I hope you enjoy the day. Part of me wishes I was watching on TV as the elite races look like they will be fantastic, so I’ll be catching up on the highlights when I get home. If you want to track my progress on the day I’m number 60362, and I’ll be back next week with a full race review, after I’ve finished my Easter egg!

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