Kevin Jones' First London Marathon, 22 April

Report from Kevin Jones:

It was tough, warm but wonderful. Experiencing it first hand felt a little surreal after seeing it on TV over many years. After an imperfect training schedule, hindered by illness and other demands on time, my ambition was focused on beating my PB of 3:15:46 set at last year’s Dublin marathon and in the process get a “good for age” time of sub-3:15.
I intended holding myself back until about mile 18, like I did in Dublin, and then giving it all I had left, but by mile 18 I was struggling to keep my existing pace, but in the end I got under 3:15 by 9 precious seconds. I hope that this will be good enough for 2013.
I was hampered at the start by entering the pen as it was moving off and therefore having to get around masses and masses of runners right through to the finish, and by the warm conditions, so I know there’s a better time in me. The atmosphere was friendly with lots of support from the thousands of supporters, including my girlfriend. Thanks to Peter for cheering me somewhere on the way to Tower Bridge. It was great to meet Paul in the runner’s zone before the race and I’m sure he’ll be keen to show us all what he can do at his next Marathon.
One little surprise for me was the method I relied on to monitor my pace:
my Lucozade Pace Band. Don’t dismiss these as something for beginners because my Garmin was overestimating my pace as they usually do due to the convoluted route we take when it’s crowded and because the clocks along the course were for the gun time, so checking my little Casio stopwatch against the pace band at each mile was invaluable.
Another thing to say about London is “travel light”, there is water every mile, two gel stops and a few energy drink stops, so plenty to keep you going. My legs recovered quite quickly, with a few minor blisters on my toes. I’ve run twice in the week after and hope to do tomorrow’s Parkrun at Cardiff (28 April), which is a better recovery than previous marathons. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to run the London Marathon and promote the Vegan message but I’ve got to do it again! I loved it.
Kevin Jones