Written by Craig Digweed
Having taken up running in the early part of 2017 and completing my first event at that year’s Fleet Half Marathon, I found myself well and truly hooked on running. This led to me joining BVR in the spring of last year.
I’ve always been an active person and played football for many years, the running we used to do as part of pre-season was never my favourite thing so I never envisaged taking it up as my main pastime once I hung up my boots.
One of the things that attracted me to joining a club was a desire to improve my running and I’ve learnt so much from the experience of my fellow BVR members, especially during the winter marathon training when I was preparing for my first crack at 26.2 miles. Running is an individual
sport, but during those long Sunday runs it really did feel like being part of a team. We were all working towards our own individual goals, but bouncing off each other for advice and encouragement when it was needed.
So the day arrived, 27 th May 2018 within the grounds of Edinburgh University. All the training was done and I’d made it to the start line free of injury. Spurred on by the amazing achievements of those who ran Brighton, Southampton, Milton Keynes and London (sorry if I missed any out), I set off hopeful of completing the distance in around 3 and a half hours.
The Edinburgh course is fast one, the first few miles are around the city and then you make your way out to the coast. It would be impossible to make it any flatter. My main goal for those first few miles was to not go too fast, I wanted to stick to 8min/mile pace and I did. This pace felt comfortable for
me right up until around mile 18 when I first started to find it hard. Mentally I was fine and I felt like I had enough energy to complete the distance, the only problem was my hamstrings were getting tighter and tighter with every step. By mile 23 my average pace had dropped from 7:56 min/mile to
8:10 min/mile. I knew at this point that 3:30 had gone and it was just about finishing. When I hit the 25 mile marker I was experiencing horrendous cramp in both hamstrings, to the point where I had to keep stopping to stretch. That last mile was the hardest mile I have ever run but I made it to the end in a time 3:38:05.
The whole event was really well organised, well supported and I loved my first trip to Edinburgh. If you like the idea of combining a marathon with a weekend city break then I would definitely recommend it.
A massive thank you to all my winter training buddies, you made the training a joy. Now, who’s up for the Pilgrim Marathon…………………