Race day and it was nice to wake up with that feeling of anticipation in my stomach once again, it has been missing for the past couple of races (even a Parkrun or two) and I was starting to worry that it would never come back and might affect my training runs. Thankfully my passion for running isn’t dead yet!
Despite not being familiar with most of Manchester (I can sort of find my way around certain parts of Wythenshawe) I was impressed at how easily I managed to navigate my way to Heaton Park, which involved a bus and my first ever journey on a tram in the UK (I went on one in Germany). From the park entrance I followed the other runners who were trickling in, if I get lost then it would be their fault.
The warm-up was taken by a guy who thought he was a Drill Sargent in he army. He was shouting out the exercises and after about five minutes a group of men dress in nuns appeared on a hill just behind him and started doing their own warm-up, which made everyone laugh, expect the Drill Sargent wannabe who bellowed even louder for us to do it properly.
How are you meant to take it seriously when you have a dozen men dressed as nuns doing star-jumps and the funky chicken dance?
It wasn’t good run for me: I started by picking the wrong person to use as a pacer. He looked fit, but he was running a good couple of minutes slower than what I was aiming for, it took me almost 2km until I realised. Once I forgot about having a pacer I was soon back in the rhythm and was actually running very well and was looking at a new PB – until the 8th KM mark.
A woman and her dog were standing at the side of the course amongst a crowd, the dog got excited and dashed onto the course and right in front of me, I tried to avoid it but ended up tripping over. Thankfully I wasn’t injured (just a few gazes and aches), but it took me a while to get back into my stride again and I ended up missing out on a PB by a minute.
I should have kicked that fucking dog up the arse!
I was in a foul mood because of that poxy dog and stormed off to the tram and straight into a Yates’s for a breakfast and pints of beer. By the time I had got onto the bus to go back to Wythenshawe I had perked up a bit and stopped at a pub for another beer (don’t judge me, it’s about 45 minutes that bus ride!).
On the coach back to London I went into the toilet to discover someone had done a massive shit and as I came out I announced my disgust at what was in there, the thing is everyone thought it was me! I quickly made my way back to my seat as the hissed whispers of “oh that is disgusting!” followed me.
It was a long fucking journey home as I dared not move out of the seat again!
I am running the 2018 London Marathon to raise money for Livability UK in memory of my dad. If you can I'd appreciate any donation you can spare. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/deansaliba