I think that we can all agree that we could call October marathon month. With London on 3 October and Manchester the following Sunday many of our members were in the final throes of their preparation and when September became October it was more about eating well and carbing up rather than getting the miles in.
We’ve all seen our club mates out training, putting in the miles, trying to avoid injuries, managing injuries and ensuring that Garmins are fully charged but what is it like when you are running a marathon for the first time?
One of our amazing members, Steve, has written about his London marathon day:
‘So Sunday was a bit of a special day for me, it was one of those rare days where something is ticked off the bucket list. I ran the London Marathon. It was my second attempt at racing the 26.2 miles, 42.2KM distance. I was all trained and ready for it back in spring 2020, before it was cancelled. So I was super excited on the day!
Family and friends/clubmates from Datchet Dashers had made the journey to support a gang of club members, including myself, who were lucky enough to be running.
Out on the course was such fun, the costumes, the sites, the crowds, the atmosphere, for the first 20 miles I felt amazing! Then with 10KM to go, cramp. Both calves and both hamstrings started twitching like mad, and randomly... bam! They'd lock up like they'd been electrocuted. Not fun.
But at the same time something wonderful happened. You see, like many other runners, I wear my name on my shirt, so when I'm in a race people can give me a shout out. A big part of distance running is in the mind, and a cheer can be a real boost. I had to stop quite a few times to work out the cramps, stretch and massage (beat up!) the muscles until they'd go again.
What I experienced as I struggled was quite overwhelming. The waves of sheer positivity that greeted me, wow. Just wow! I have to admit I became quite emotional. I am so incredibly grateful to the people that supported me, to the loved ones who are always there, the friends'/clubmates' familiar faces in the crowd, the cheeky banter, the lady I've never met and will likely never meet again who was going to tag in for on the last 3 miles, the first aider who checked on me, all the kind words, all the "you can do it"s and the "nearly there"s, the ones who shouted "Go Steve!" or "Stevoooo!", simply screamed "STEEEEVEEEE!!!" at the top of their lungs. That rising cheer, as I took deep breaths with tears on my cheeks, psyching myself up to push on, that cheer that erupted as I began running again. I'll never forget it.
If you ever get the chance to run London Marathon, I can't recommend it enough. And don't worry that it might be too hard, because the whole city will have your back.’
I think it’s safe to say that Steve’s experience was replicated the following week in Manchester - there were some great performances there and here are just a few pics that our trusty and enthusiastic (for this read loud!) supporters took.
So, has this piqued your interest? Would you like to run a marathon in 2022, will next year be your year? Why not speak to some of your club mates and learn more about what it takes to run 26.2miles.