Well I'm home and in 1 piece, just! Absolutely the hardest thing I've ever done physically, it's just so difficult! Massive respect to anyone that does a marathon, it's hard to comprehend until you get out there. I've smashed half marathons without any injuries or worries before but this is a whole new beast!
4h 53m is a time I'm really proud of, in my dreams I broke 4 hrs but a series of injuries leading up to the race meant I had hoped for 4.5 hrs however the conditions were pretty brutal (so hot and no rain!) so at mile 20 when my knee went (boy did it go!) I revised it to sub 5 hrs and I was delighted to see the finishing line under that!
There were 5 other people I knew doing it and I'm glad to say everyone got round ok though the injuries are really stacking up, my best mate took over 6 hrs after nearly having to bow out but the st johns guys sorted him and he was able to limp over the line!
The amount of people with 'for dad' or something similar made me well up all the way round and I tried to tag as many of the youngsters hands who were cheering us on and take as many jelly babies as I could - I realised pretty quickly how important it is to make the kids in the crowd feel like they're part of it and I let them know how much I appreciated their help, hopefully they'll be back year on year doing it again!
I reached 2k in sponsors which totally exceeded my expectations though of course any extra is welcome (my mate is an evertonian and he's beating me by £60 currently so still hoping to get past him!) - If any of you TJFers can help it would be great!http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MichaelCoates