This is the only marathon I run. Why?
It’s the beautiful scenery, organisation, camaraderie, friendliness and support. This year for the first time we had our name on our number, UTMB stylie, so supporters called our names as they cheered!
It’s the climbs, descents and off-road bits that take away the drudgery of flat road running.
It’s the hyper-active Runner’s World forum thread that provides entertainment throughout the year.
It's the TV coverage by S4/C that brings the memories flooding back. (This year me and me mate Stu had some considerable exposure near the start line while the anchorman did his piece to camera, ho yes!)
It’s the post-race euphoric party in which Karaoke gets sung (though unfortunately not this year because it was replaced by an aged 4-man ‘Dolly Parton tribute band’ in aid of cheridee). Ooh it was piercing. Put a sock in it.
2012 provided the best weather conditions yet since my first in 2006. The sun shone to make us pleasantly warm (apart from when the cold headwind blew for a while on the exposed back straight of the route). I got to see the tops of the mountains for the first time ever, including the top of Snowdon!
By halfway and with two hours elapsed I knew that I’d be scorching no records, nor the soles of my shoes. A finish time of 4:28 was a marathon PW but at least I suffered no after-effects – which was nice.
I had sensed something special was in store and had taken my camera for the first time on a ‘proper’ marathon. It was special alright with those views. I could say that I was slowed by the snapping but that may just be a little white lie.
This was my 7th consecutive year. God willing I shall return for at least the next three to make it a nice round ten, then take it from there.
Right I’ll shut up and let the pictures do the talking; it was a first and may be the last.