Liverpool half marathon review

So it was back in January with the old pants just a tad snug after the booze and food of chrimbo that I decided I needed to get jogging again. Having given up my rather expensive David Lloyd gym membership up after 10 years and coming out the same weight as I joined, though swings of a stone and a half either way occurred during them 10 years I had managed to get to 10 miles last August before moving house and the death of my old man sent me into a lazy bastard spiral and lots of weekend drinking. As ever with new year resolutions it took me to the 8th of Jan to start and a gentle 2.89 miles (thanks nike running app) and we were on our way. The original aim of jogging was to lose a few pounds and generally pick me up after a few shitty months. It was pointed out to me that there was a half marathon in March. Jesus I thought that would take a special effort and dedicated training with my beer belly to nail one of them. I am a greek centaur when it comes to my body, instead of half horse and half man. I am lower half athlete and upper part beer bellied sausage roll monster. So on with the training I went out in the cold but the snow came and I lost a few days. Mainly sledging down Mossley Hill and Otterspool prom. Indeed the best sledging since the 051 in 1994. That was followed by a bout of prolonged manflu and we all know how serious that can be. I dragged myself of my sick-bed to go on the ale for two days in Krakow and before we knew it I hadn’t managed a run for just over two weeks and after reaching 7 miles before the break there was only one thing to do. Yep I dragged myself around south Liverpool for 8 miles and the countdown was on for race day. Everything went to plan from then in bar a few blisters and bleeding nipples. 10 miles was next up then a week before the race I ran a slow mock half marathon. Admittedly with a lot more hills than the actual race and my Nike iPhone app cutting corners that meant  I might of actually run nearer 14 miles than 13, well it felt that way. So at least I knew I could complete the half marathon if not in the time I might have expected having lost two weeks training in Feb. So the last week to race day and a casual 4 miles midweek it came to Friday night and a decision to make. Having had a drink most Fridays during my well crafted training schedule should I carry this on or focus 100% on race day which was not far away. Firstly not wanting to change my habits in case it threw my delicate training schedule out of the window and secondly being a semi drunkard I decided a bottle of rose wouldn’t kill anybody and I was assuming that if I felt like what I did after the practice half marathon then Sunday night was a write off and early to bed. The thought of going a weekend without any booze was too much. So there we have it in my own strange and wonderful way via Pizza Park, Steves chippy and Bargain Booze I had made it to race day in one piece. Such was my attention to detail in training I had arranged for the baby to not be in the house Saturday night so I could grab a rare full night sleep. With my habit of picking up football injuries I had not played since I decided to enter the half marathon thus denying my mates my sublime impression of Jan Molby on the Astro’s and five a side gyms of Liverpool. Dosing up on pasta (Heinz spaghetti hoops on toast) a few Jaffa cakes and a Lucozade Sport it was Sunday morning and off to the start I headed.

Liverpool half marathon prep

So with kit prepped on Saturday night it was Sunday morning. Eldest and the baby were at the in-laws so the chance of a rare lie in. Oh no the alarm set for 7.20 as it was race day. A pre race breakfast of Frosties and pure orange and the train into town we arrived at the start line. I had decided as it was chilly and all my training had been done with a hooded top on I wouldn’t change on race day. I did however swap my wooly hat for my jogging cap. So lined up in front of the famous Liverbirds I settled in with the time marker for 2 hours 30. I was getting a bit nervous on the start line. Don’t know why as I knew I could do the distance and it wasn’t like I had a load of sponsorship money riding on finishing. 9am and we were off, well it took my over 5 mins to get to the starting line and I started my nike running app as I crossed the start line. The iPod was on shuffle and away I went. A bit of a cheeky first two miles with an uphill stretch up Park Lane and then the hill got bigger as it was Upper Parliament Street. I was taking it nice and easy with people going fast past me I decided I was gonna run my own race and not get sucked into a fast early pace. So along Princess Avenue and down towards Ullet Road and into the Sefton Park area. Things were going fine but I hate jogging around Sefton Park, it just bores me and was glad to head into Aigburth Vale were the family were there to cheer me on and pass me a bottle of Desperado Lucozade Sport. Down through Otterspool and then the last slog along the prom to the Pier Head. At 11 miles I was feeling amazingly fresh and upped the pace a bit knowing there was still something in the tank and by now was passing people who had stopped or slowed down on a regular basis. The same people who had steamed past me in the first few miles. A classic case of tortoise and hare. One mile to go and I upped the pace even further and managed to overtake a leprechaun on the home straight and I must have looked a right tit running very fast with a Seb Coe style “kick” at the end in front of the people watching but I had run the perfect race and finished with a time of 02:15:52 and 5321 out of over 8000. I might have beaten the leprechaun but was beaten by a whole cricket team and two lads dressed 100% in lycra including over their faces !! So as the mile splits show below I did indeed have plenty in the tank and funny enough my slowest pace was in the Sefton Park section.

01 10:04 02 10:10 03 09:50 04 09:57 05 10:23 06 10:15 07 10:43 08 10:22 09 10:38 10 10:28 11 10:31 12 10:13 13 09:51

So there I was with my medal. Not bad going for a 17stone plus beer bellied monster. The challenge as set down my late dad is to do a full marathon. In a story many have heard but some of you might not have my dad  had turned 40 in February and 20 stone. He said to us all that he was going to do the Mersey marathon in the September. After picking ourselves up of the floor we said yeah OK. He had to stop after 200m of his first jog around Sefton Park but he got down to 12 stone and completed the marathon. I remember so vividly as I was about 13 him throwing down a challenge for me to do a marathon when I was 40. This seemed so far away and alien that  you might have well said that aliens would land on the planet next week. Time passes so quick and I am 40 this September and its challenge time !! My old man is no longer here to see my run today but he would have been chuffed with what I done and I will admit to getting just a little bit emotional just after the finish knowing he wouldn’t see me showing off my medal.  So if work commitments let me I will try to do a marathon. I need the time to do proper training and juggle life and family commitments and I do hope I will be able to do it. If I go for a marathon I will this time be stinging you all for sponsorship but that’s all for 2014. Time for a well deserved Desperado after a Mcdonalds tea. According to my Nike iphone running app I have 2300 calories to get to zero and I intend on consuming them on Desperado’s and munchies tonight.

Liverpool half marathon medal.


Fay x x x x


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