Well fuck me I done it and here is the story. The alarm went for 6.30am and instantly I thought fuck it I am having a lie in which is one of the joys of working from home. About 10 seconds later I thought shit I have got a marathon to run. So up and ready with a light breakfast and it was down to the finish line with my mate Colin who was also running. All settled in the Echo arena and all was feeling good we headed of to out start zones. So in the 5th section it was my turn to start the slog. I ended up being in the bizarre position of having the celeb starter Austin Healy hanging his hand out for a high five. I wasn’t expecting such monumental decisions to make before I had even got over the start line. I couldn’t leave old Austin hanging so I gave him a high five. So the course was heading up to both football grounds and I was doing well running a touch faster than I did in training but not that much so I thought just go with it. We passed both Everton and Liverpool football grounds and then the first dodgy point a steep hill up St Domingo. The first emotional moment was running past the Hillsborough memorial at Anfield. I swerved over to the left and gave it a kiss from my fingers by touching it. Pre race I had been speaking to Greame Hammond on Twitter who lost his older brother Phil who I played footy with as a child. He had been wishing me luck and Phil, Greame and family are always in my thoughts at certain times of the year. At this point I was at around 8 miles at St Domingo and seeing a few people stop made me think should I ? Was this the first mistake of the race I took a small breather on the steepest section not long and then it was back down into the city centre. The next hill was up Park Lane and then Upper Parliament St. I decided again to catch a breather working out I could most probably walk not that much slower up the hill than run it with half the energy used. It was after all a marathon not a sprint. Many people were walking and the main objective was to get around with any time being a bonus. I am still not sure if I set off too fast but I wasn’t having the best of runs and what a day to have it. So the end of Princess Road and half way. Still waiting on official timing to be uploaded
So on we plodded on into Princes Park and Sefton Park again taking time out to walk up hills as all thought of a good time had now gone and it was a case of survival even this early on. I was a bit down because I had managed 20 miles in training without stopping but today for whatever reason wasn’t going to plan. Next up was Barkhill Road. Deffo walked up that small section and the downhill to were my fan club was amassed. Running past them they knew nothing of my stops and my time was still pretty good. Many thanks to all friends and family who came out with the banners and posters and the massive cheer. On down to Aigburth road and again I started to walk. I had now (I found out later) a blister on each foot. Hadn’t had a blister in any other the last 8 weeks of training so that was a blow. Energy levels were a bit low now. On jogging past Chermside Road heading towards Aigburth Vale there was a man flat out receiving oxygen on a drip and the ambulance turned up (I hope he was OK) at this point I took the decision that I was not pushing myself to the edge. On reflection part of my thinks this was an easy way out but looking back now you do have to look after yourself and at the end of the day I was a 6 foot 3, near 17 Stone fella with the worst diet going and it was right to look after myself. Jogging was more replaced by walking the further we got on. Cramps were just starting when I was running so I could still actually walk at a decent pace with no trouble so the last few miles were spent walking fast. It was a lovely day along the front and I knew I would now finish taking this tactic if not achieving the time I was expecting. So with spare energy I jogged the last bit and was spurred on towards the end as more and more people cheered you on. I Spotted a fellow Fay (No relation) who was there to cheer his lad on and there I was across the line. I gave a kiss to the three band wedding ring of my late dad I wear as I crossed the line after all it was he who set me the challenge when he completed his first marathon at the age of 40 and I was just a young teen. The time was about 5 hours 10 (Awaiting official result) I was expecting possibly 4:45 and deffo under 5. It was not to be and I hope I reflect on the sensible decision to take it easy in the later stages. I was shedding a little tear and lip wobble as I crossed the line thinking about my dad but pulled myself together for the official photograph and headed into the arena. Had a bit of a funny turn packing my bag away (I assume from bending down too much) only felt a bit dizzy but I walked and sat in first aid for five mins and had a laugh with the fellas and with a bit more water I was fine. The only way to get out of the echo arena was up the stairs of the stands. That was fucking harder than the 26 miles.
So met a mate Alan afterwards who had watched the free gig. How I wish I had done that. I could tell I was still in recovery mode as you got a free beer as a finisher and gave it Alan. The first time in my life I had turned a free bevy down. Eventually got home after a delay (Bloody marathon runners) and just chilled on my bed. It was at this point once the family had left I got a bit emotional about the race and started thinking of my late dad and how proud he would of been and chuffed that I didn’t beat his time. Thats one you will always hold pops x x x. I won’t lie I shed a few more tears. Still miss the daft old get now. Many thanks to all involved in the race today and to anybody who completed either the half or full and to all friends and family who turned out to support me. Well done to Colin for a great time. Many thanks to all the people who sponsored me (You still can via the link below) £613.96 and rising for The Christie hospital. Fucking hell this is sounding like an oscar winning acceptance speech so I will turn it in now.
Fay x x x x x
Edit I am never running one of these bastards again so thats my official withdrawal from Rio 2016 !!