Today the alarm went off at 5.15 am, well actually it didn’t go off as I was already awake and out of bed. A swift breakfast and sort out of kit followed before I found myself once again on the slab for one last leg loosening session. My tear was a little better and I was hopeful that I would be able to run a bit more today. As usual my hip flexors were taped up and my quads around the knee area were also taped to try and help me out as much as possible.
I was going off early again, 8am to be precise and was joined by Jack and Kaz. We all had decided to go early as we wanted to be back for the presentation at 3pm, in other words we had several hours to get the last marathon done.
The roads were lovely and quite, just a few cars with people going up to Brathay for the main marathon. The three of us enjoyed the stunning scenery and passed and re-passed each other as we ran our own races, but never seemed to be far away from each other. I had been told not to run down the hills, as it would load the muscle that was damaged too much, so I ran the flats and walked the rest. This seemed to be going well and I rounded the lake end in just under 3 hours.
Once past here I was on to the hilly bit up past Fell Foot to Beach Hill hotel. I felt reasonably strong here compared to the other days but could feel the downhills taking their toll on the torn muscle, even though I was walking. I was having to turn my foot which was aggravating my left hip a bit.
I jogged the flats up to Bowness at 20 miles and then I could feel the muscle giving way again. I decided at this point to walk and try and rest it a bit, then tried a bit more jogging. It was no good, the tear had obviously decided not to play anymore, not surprising really with what it had been through. I walked as best I could and knew that my sub 6 hour time I had hoped for was slipping away from my grasp.
As I dropped down into Ambleside it slowly dawned on me what I had achieved during the last 3 weeks, emotions were bubbling up close to the surface but I managed to keep them under control. As I approached the rugby club with half a mile to go I was struggling, not only to walk, but to keep myself together. I had my sun glasses on so nobody could see the tears of relief and joy that were rolling down my face, I couldn’t quite belief that I had achieved what had been dreamt up 2 years ago and been over a year in the planning.
I knew that by now Trudi, Aly and my family would know that I was close to finishing as they would have had reports of where I was during the last few miles. I reached the bottom of the drive and began the short climb to the lawn, the route here was lined with well-wishers who all seemed to know that I was on the verge of finishing something special. There were people clapping ever where and shouting my name. As I rounded the corner and approached the finishing straight the place seemed to erupt in cacophony of cheers and applause.
( Martin-camera dude, Trudi, Me, Aly at the finish)
I couldn’t believe it, I walked down the finishing chute as everyone was trying to shake my hand and clap me on the back, I think it’s fair to say I was in pieces. I dibbed to get my time for the day and was immediately scooped into the arms of Trudi for a massive hug. This was followed by Aly and my family and countless other runners and well-wishers who wanted to congratulate me. I had 10 medals around my neck, a sore body, but I was a very happy lad.
I was eventually led away so that Adam could have a quick look at my leg, no permanent damage, and went into the ice bath to get the swelling down around the left knee. Once out of the bath I was straight onto the stage to receive my trophy from Joss Naylor and the wonderful applause from the crowd. A great way to end a hard day and tough 3 weeks.
(Me & Joss at the presentation)
6 hrs 18
Back to Earth. Day 22+
As is usual after such a big event, there is a hole left where once there was training, planning and fundraising. At the moment this has been taken up with work, sorting out all my kit and sleeping. I knew that I would be tired after such a long challenge, but to be honest I feel wiped out. I feel tired in the afternoon, in fact I have been having a nap for an hour or two. I have been feeling really tired at the end of the day, struggling to stay awake. I know that this is my body recovering and it will pass with time and rest.
I had physio this morning with Micky, my normal guy, he says my legs are pretty good considering what they have been through, that my tear seems to be healing well, although there is still plenty of fluid and swelling in my muscles and joints. Feet up and compression are the order of the day.
I have an event booked next month, an iron distance triathlon, something to focus on to keep my mind and body active.
It still hasn’t sunk in properly what I have achieved, to be honest it will probably take a while, a long while.
160 hours 52 minutes of effort over 3 weeks
154,243 calories burnt
79,091 ft of ascent
And most importantly
£18,000+ raised for Brathay
Thanks to Adam, Micky, Nathan and Sammy for keeping my body in one piece for the last year and especially the last 3 weeks.
(My boys, Nathan & Sammy in the ice bath)
The other 11 ten in ten runners for their support, strength and camaraderie
(Finishers- Paul Dewar, Chris Renton, Sonja Foster, Malcolm Collins, Kaz Hurrell, Rob Byrne, Jonathan Carter, Helli Mc Loughlin, Jack Swannick, Donna Fitzpatrick, Adrian Brooks. Jim Meta not pictured 4 marathons completed )
To Aly and Mac for their tremendous support, their van, their time, their encouragement and their humour that kept me going during dark times.
To Trudi, no words can express the immense amount of support that I receive from her. None of this would have happened without her input, her patience, her understanding, her love and encouragement.
Thanks for reading, supporting, donating and general good comments.
There will be some piccies on the website soon, when I can stay awake long enough!!
It is what it is