A place I’ve spent many an hour.
On Sunday 28th May though I was to spend quite a few hours here as I was taking part in the Liverpool Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon.
We rocked down in DH style on the bus setting off in the early (just after 5!!) on a bus that couldn’t control the heating and was constantly blowing out hot air. As such it was belting hot all the way there and back.
It’s no secret that I don’t travel well. So I tend to just try and get my head down and listen to a few podcasts to ward off any possibility of throwing up.
But a few hours down the road and we were soon there and catching up with our team-mates who had stayed overnight. Everyone was looking forward to the half marathon and I’d been told by a few taking part that it was the best half marathon they’d ever done.
The half marathon was off first at 9 with the marathon setting off an hour later. Having bid farewell to the half marathon participants it was soon time to get myself sorted for the marathon.
It was a month since I’d ran Blackpool and I’d came out of it relatively unscathed so I was more than ready for what Liverpool had to offer.
The race set off a little later than expected at 10:15. Just before the start of the race we’d had a minute of silence for the victims of the Manchester arena bombing followed by a round of applause. There had been some talk that the event may have been cancelled following the incident at Manchester but both the Liverpool Rock N’ Roll Marathon weekend and the Manchester Half and 10k events took place regardless.
I set off at planned pace but within a mile I was engulfed by the 3:30 pace team. As the roads were narrow and I was right in the middle of the pack there was no way of me getting out so here I was to stay for the next few miles. Planned pacing went right out of the window…
I ran the first 10k in 7:50, 8:01, 7:43, 7:47, 7:45 and 8:00 respectively. Which wasn’t a million miles outside of my planned pace of 8:15 but was still enough to have thrown the plan out of the window.
The first 10k took in the home ground of my beloved Everton. I managed a little salute as I went past.
It wasn’t long until I was passing the home ground of Liverpool where I managed a little salute of another kind as I went past.
I was passing half way around 1:45. The original plan was to hit this at around 1:50 then hit the second half harder so I was about 5 minutes off at this point.
I’d been feeling the desperate urge to go to the loo from about mile six and I’d managed to put this off until mile eighteen where it got the better of me. Penny lane seemed the obvious place to ‘spend a penny’ so I jumped in the loos there (right on the eighteen mile marker) to relieve the pressure.
I was conscious of the fact that I didn’t want to stand about too long so I was in and out and back running before my legs realised what had happened.
It was around this point that I started to notice all the people who were either walking or trying to sustain a pace that wasn’t feasible. They’d clearly gone off to hard too soon and were trying to cling on for dear life. I was happily steady away sustaining a pace that I felt comfortable at.
The Rock ‘N’ Roll aspect of the run had disappeared largely and there was a lot of running and twisting and turning through parks particularly between miles 18 and 22. Following that there was a bit of a drag along the River Mersey from miles 22 onwards to pretty much the finish. I struggled a bit with pace from mile 23 to 25 but I was still actively passing people and even managed to knock out a finish of 8:03 in the last mile before a sprint for the finish.
I was pretty pleased with my finish time of 3:32.00.
If I hadn’t have had to stop for the loo then I reckon another sub 3:30 would have been in the bag but hey-ho it was another marathon finished (number 11) and a bloody good medal and t-shirt to boot. I quite enjoyed some of the scenic aspects of the marathon, Chinatown especially, but running through the various parks were a bit boring if I’m honest.
I hung around at the end to see another DH Runner, Julie, finish and bag her good for age for Liverpool Marathon in the process.
It was great to catch up with everyone who had taken part in the half marathon and hear of their stories of elation and sufferance in the process.
All that was in front of me now was to suffer the heat-fest that was the bus from hell on the way home and then promptly throw up on my arrival home.
Next up is Appleby 10k and Workington Festival of Running followed by potentially Ullswater Triathlon before training for Chester Marathon starts in earnest.