Malta Marathon 2013, or, In Which Nik W is Revenged

5:00:10 ! Last year I ran 4:08. Was it not the best of days, I hear you ask? It was not.
You know how, on race morning, you wake up sort of resenting that you have to get out of bed early, but still, excited about the race? It’s not a good sign when you just feel that you want to stay in bed!
It was an even worse sign when my leg started hurting, for no obvious reason. The chap in the orange? He saved my bacon, because I really was thinking, This is really not fun at all, do I honestly want to carry on for quite a few more hours? but he saw me struggling and literally ran back to keep me company. What a star!
However after the second pitstop (why did I think I could eat pasta and bread and get away with it, why, why?) we lost contact. It wasn’t all bad – at least this year I managed to find actual loos rather than having to sneak off behind a wall! Coming out of my second “comfort break” (a big thanks to the Scouts of Malta who, firstly, do most of the marshalling and watering of the runners and are STARS, and secondly, let me use their bogs), I caught up with a young Japanese lad, straight out of Uni, studying English in Malta, and doing his first marathon, and frankly, not having a good time of it either.
Being old enough to be his mother I took pity on him, and we soldiered on together, me encouraging him with the remnants of the Japanese I studied at evening class many years ago.
Are you well?
– I am well!
Are you OK?
– I am OK!
– Honest!
(you had to admire this as clearly he felt like death warmed up, and towards the end I was pretty much frogmarching him)
We’re going to get a big medal!
The photos are all somewhat economical with the truth as you could see the photographers from miles off. But it gives you an idea of the scenery, which is very pleasant at the start and end (suburbs in the middle I can take or leave, though if you do the half marathon you get to skip them).
Nik will laugh at this. At Abingdon last autumn we were both having a bit of a time of it and hobbled through the last few miles together. Rather unfortunately, the race finished on the track where I do all my speedwork and by instinct I got up on my toes and sprinted the last 100 yards (see pic with tutu and Nik).
Of course what happened at Malta … when young Kazuki caught sight of the finish line, he revived remarkably, going from Walking Dead to Usain Bolt within a couple of seconds. The little —- outsprinted me – I tried but he had 25 years on me and I couldn’t catch him! Tch. But I thought, there you go – Karma for Abingdon…. hahaha.