Two views of the Manchester Marathon


My training started in January; I made it up as I went along,

My long runs ended up being far too slow; This is all where it went wrong!

I posted for help on Facebook; Graham Frost sent me a fab plan,

I ran 3 times a week and I soon realised “This Girl Can!”

The training runs were very hard but of course they have to be done,

Long runs got slower and slower – this was turning out not to be fun!

The day was getting closer with no clue how it would go,

My original aim for GFA completely out of the window!

We travelled up the day before, went out for a meal of pasta,

I was clinging to straws desperately; Does this theory make you go faster?

The big day arrived; it was my birthday – there were no presents for me,

Just porridge and orange juice for breakfast; Let’s go smash this …. we will see!

We joined loads of others at the Metrolink, picked many more up along the way,

The atmosphere was already amazing, 15,000 runners hoping it will be their day!

The bag drop was easy with lots of loo’s, then we headed to the start,

There were very few loos as we went along, I really didn’t like this part!

I was late for the gun, but pushed myself in; The event was underway,

Sub 9 minute miles is what I was aiming for; I’m thinking could this be my day!?

I reached mile 20 where I hit that wall, but kept my pace, well, more or less….

A further 2 miles is all I managed until I became a blubbering mess!

I felt physically sick and then I heard those words “Excuse me are you ok?”

A wonderful stranger called Ryan was struggling, so we ran and walked most of the way.

We saw the finish line; it was within our sights, my GFA has certainly passed,

I raised my arms and gave a smile …. at least I was not last!

The feeling of euphoria was amazing; I was overcome when I crossed the line,

My marathon was complete I was dead on my feet, 4:03 that was my time!

I can’t thank Ryan enough for his help; He received the biggest hug ever,

We said our goodbyes on the finish line; Will I run a marathon again? Never Never!!

I received my top and goodie bag; the finish photos being taken … so off I went,

Then my body started shaking; I was sick in the loo, so I headed for the British Red Cross tent.

My body was shaking uncontrollably – hypothermia was what I had,

A hot cup of tea with 2 blankets, and I was told “I am completely mad!

Over an hour in the tent trying to recover, my muscles were still very tight,

I walked round for a little while to warm up; Another marathon? …. I still might!

The journey home was very easy, warming through, and no more shaking

Good food and family is what I needed; a nice warm bath was for the taking.

I am pleased with everything I did even before, during and after the race,

I am chuffed with my time; would I do another …. you will have to watch this space!

– Jayne Perry

So after the Ashby 20 mile race I had an interesting chat with a few people asking why I’m not doing a marathon… so I decided to message my good friend Laura with a crazy idea “Laura I’ve been thinking I think I want to do Manchester marathon … will you do it with me?” Well Laura is obviously as crazy as me and we agreed to do it but we didn’t want to tell anyone just so we could enjoy the run with no pressure no expectations just us and running the way we like it.

10pm Sat evening we arrive in Manchester … I booked the hotel all sorted…. NOT. I’d booked for the wrong weekend… luckily we managed to find something out in Warrington and managed to get to bed and settled by 11!! Phew!

The day couldn’t have gone any better I ran side by side with my best friend for 21 miles , the course is fabulous it’s flat and fast luckily I had Laura there to just keep my pace in check otherwise I’d have been off getting carried away, at 21 miles my legs didn’t like the sterling 7:30 pace Laura was keeping anymore and although I felt great I decided it was time to say goodbye to L and just ease back slightly to make sure I was actually going to finish this race!!

My head just wanted 3:45 that elusive good for age , my heart wanted 3:30 and I’d worked out the splits and pace for just these options so when mile 24 hit I looked at my watch and did the old “if I run the last 2 miles in 8mm what will I get” at this point I realised in shock horror that I was about to destroy the 3:30 and I would be somewhere in the low 3:20s!! I cried A LOT then I ran the last 2 miles with the biggest smile ever… 3:21:34 my first marathon done … Manchester is a fabulous course it’s flat and fast it’s not too congested so I guess it’s ideal for a first one or a pb is recommend it to anyone. My best day running ever and one I’ll remember forever I think – Kelly Massie