John Bateson, Luton Road Marathon, 20 November 2011. 3hrs 1min 3secs.

…follow up to Peter’s message about my marathon run…
Luton road marathon – nice, varied course, with three laps of a roughly 9 mile loop taking in some urban sprawl, a few country views, mostly tarmac but with a little bit of off-road. Not quite as flat as I’d allowed myself to believe.
The splits tell the sorry story of this, my first road marathon for a very long time.  Lap 1 = just under 55 mins, lap 2 = just under an hour, lap 3 = just under an hour and 7 minutes. Ho hum. Twenty sixth place, 3.01.03.
I didn’t hit the wall or any of that kind of thing – it felt hard to begin with, then got progressively harder until it eventually finished. I looked so rough at the end that someone shouted “only one lap to go”, assuming I was one of the five hour finishers with a 9 mile loop remaining. 
The pictures tell a story – I’d love to post some but, as some have noted on these pages, do not offer a reasonably priced option for their photos. (I hope they will look into this!) Temporarily, they are here:
The day slightly spoiled when I got back to my car to find a dead battery. I waited for slightly longer than I’d taken to run 26 miles for the RAC to arrive. Had enough time to help some other unfortunates bump start their car (didn’t bother asking for reciprocation, given I had help on the way – little did I know that the intial one hour estimate was wildly optimistic!), Got quite hungry and eventually forced myself (and my now seized-up legs) to head out to find a supermarket for bread and hummous. 
In the end, though it wasn’t as good a time as I think I’m capable of, I enjoyed the run, and will be seeking out a couple more marathons early next year.