“This was my first marathon and due to the training I had put in I approached it with a bit too much confidence. I had set myself a target pace of 7:26/mile so that I would finish in under 3:15. I considered this to be a manageable target as I had done several long slow runs, 25 miles being my furthest, and also I had done 15 miles at target marathon pace on the beach a couple of weeks before race day.
However, on marathon day there were two things which I hadn’t properly trained for, hills and heat! I started off too fast as usual, running more at a half marathon pace than full marathon. By the time I got to the 17 mile mark I was feeling very hot and tired and my pace began to finally slow to my intended target pace and then gradually got slower. This ended up working out OK as I was already over 4 minutes ahead of schedule so it gave me the option of taking the last few miles a bit easier.
It was nice to hear spectators surprised comments when seeing a runner who is a vegan and this helped me stay focused during the last stretch. As the MK stadium came in to view I felt relieved. I finished ahead of schedule in 3:13:10, which I was really pleased with. Once I crossed the finish line my initial comments were how I wouldn’t like to do a marathon ever again, but after a day had passed I was scanning which event to choose for my second attempt.”