First of the twelve marathons

Marathon 1 — Jeskyns Challenge

Wow the first one done. It was definitely not flat so it was certainly a challenge, with plenty of lessons learnt along the way.

I started out without my Camelbak, relying on my drink bottle at the end of each lap, going against what I’d been use to for training runs, but I thought after 3 laps I’d revert to my water pack.

I’d told myself that I’d keep going for 2 laps and have a decent stop. This meant 3 decent stops in total.

I roughly stuck to this until 5 laps in when my energy was starting to dwindle. I’d gone off too fast too quickly. I’d been swept up in the crowd and I was suffering. This was against my usual instincts too as normally I do force myself to a slow steady start, I’d chosen the wrong event to make this mistake.

Luckily Mum and Dad had stayed on longer with me this Christmas, so that was a great encouragement at the end and start of each lap. Both looking proud as I came in, and when I set out each time.

By lap five I knew I had to take it easy and opted to walk the first half and run back. This gave me a little bit of energy but my legs were feeling heavy, particularly know I still had a way to go. When I reached the end I thought it was an hour later than it was, luckily I had time in my side as I had to be out on my seventh lap before the six hour cut off. Lap six I walked all of, it was cold and super slow but I had to conserve energy. A dull headache was coming on as well, I knew I needed to eat and drink. I’d been here before with the Ride100 so I forced some of energy bar down and at the end of lap six had a handful of salted peanuts.

The final lap was here! I couldn’t believe I’d made it this far. From lap one it was unreal to think what it would be like to go out for the final time. But here I was. I walked maybe one mile more, before running at a quicker pace when some locals were out on their motorbikes. Thank goodness for width restrictions, that’s all I can say! Clearly with a second wind I ran from then on, conscious that I may the last one out but on the way back in I passed two runners heading out; definitely ultra runners!

It was starting to get dark as I made my final way over be A2 and onto the final straight. A member of the public congratulated me for what I was doing and that picked me up for the last little stretch. Along with not wanting to be overtaken by the last two finishers, even if I was to be the last marathon finishers. At that point I wasn’t fussed, it was just great to be finishing and a dam sight quicker than my two Moonwalk’s phew!

It was great to be cheered, hugged and welcomed back at the finish!

Here’s my Facebook ‘thanks’ post “Wow what can I say! 1st of 12 done and what a great crowd to do it with! Super thanks to mum and dad (Sylvia Woods and Peter Woods) for braving the cold to take it turns to see me for each lap! :) thanks to the “well done’s” and high 5’s with every passing (Dave Sheppard Laura Finch Alison Chisnell Sheila Sherman and George Fairbrother — thanks George for the comment ‘make sure you finish it’ that spurred me on!) Thanks to EVERYONE for all the encouragement, likes, comments and kudos — every little helps. Super happy with all the support from Orpington Road Runners, friends and family — this post would be mahosive if I tagged every single one of you! And thankyou so much to Traviss Willcox and Rachel and all the helpers today for managing the last minute course change and cheers on the way round — I was dreading 7 rather than 6 laps but so happy I made it! Here’s to the next one :)”

My run wasn’t incident free as I discovered when I took my sock off — a lovely blood blister on my little toe :(

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