December 31st 2017
My final marathon of the year and I was very excited to get it finished. I had been poorly for the few weeks prior and hadn’t got as many miles in as I had hoped but I was determined to finish the twelfth of the year.
We set off early to Liverpool. We had already planned in a stop at the McDonalds not too far away as we knew there were no toilets near the start. I extra fuelled with a bagel although struggled to eat it due to pre race nerves and Adam fuelled with pancakes. This was only his second marathon and his nerves were starting to kick in. After fuelling up we drove to the start just off the sea front. A nice free car park within 2 minutes of the start. We picked up our bibs and sheltered from the wind in the car. Ahhhhh wind, my nemesis.
We congregated at the start at 9.45am for a 10am start and were told that all we had to do was run to the end turn around and run back FOUR times. We were to run around the hat to signify the end of a lap. The first out (3.5 miles) went really well and I pulled away from Adam. I thought I had lost him to the lure of the pub toilets but alas it turned out I was going far too quickly, sub 9 minute miles. It became apparent on the back, that the wind was blowing rather strongly against me, hence why I had run so quickly on the first 3.5 miles with a windy helping hand. I slowed considerably on the next back as I find running against the wind really hard. I decided I would make the most of the outs and that wind behind me would help propel me along.
On the second out I was already dreading the back and my legs were starting to feel tired. Adam caught up with me and told me he hadn’t been able to keep up with me on the first section. I just wish I could maintain such a speed on all marathons. I filled up my water bottle at the end of the out and braced myself for the wind. The aid station here had water and some sweets as did the one at the start. I knew it wouldn’t be too long before I had to start putting some walking breaks in a. to relieve the monotony of out and backs and b. to help my mental state to finish the race.
Although not a fan of out and back laps, running along the coast is one of my favourite things. There were lots of friendly runners and plenty of encouragement from the public supporting along the course. It didn’t stop me struggling with running though, I put it 10 seconds of walking every so often which increased to a minute by the last lap. It really helped with breaking up the race. Myself and Adam finished the race in 4:40 which is respectable given I had gone out too hard and I wasn’t up to marathon fitness. I was grinning from ear to ear and so happy to have finished 12 marathons in 2017.
The liverbird marathon is really well organised and all proceeds go to two charities. It only cost £20 to enter and it runs on new years eve and new years day. You can do the double if you are brave. It was a great race to run and one I will definitely come back to.