here we go...again! it's race report time!!
It was such a tough race. really hot day (25c), no shade along the route. it was the complete opposite of connemara and as a matter of fact my body (and mind) reacted completely differently!
we started at 8.50am. 4000 people at the start line, 1000 pulled out during the marathon.
I wanted to start behind the 4h pacers but I got to the start line a bit late and I couldn't reach them. I decided then to run on my own and try to keep them in sight and so I did for quite a while. I kept an even pace after the 25th k but everything went wrong after that. but let's proceed in order...
at the 6k marker I saw a friend of mine and he stayed with me until the 25th. It was nice to have company. we passed 10k in 57:36, maybe I was going a bit too fast, so I started to slow down. I was through the first half in 2:02, bang on time for a 4:10 marathon :)
I had planned to take 2 gels during the race. I had tried them during my 22 miler and I had no reaction to them. I took the first gel at 20k and I had planned to take the second one at 30k. But this time (despite having taken immodium as usual before the race) my stomach did not agree with it. I started to feel really unconfortable and there was no signs of partaloos. I started to get worried and I decided to take more immodium (even though I was scared of overdoing it a bit). 25k marker, 28k marker and the pain was really unbearable. I started to walk and the only thing I could think of was to get to the next drink station (30k) and then if the pain was still there, get on one of those horrible little buses with all the people who pulled out and get to the finish line that way. I was down down down......But once I got to the drink station the pain wasn't there anymore. So I carried on only to find out that there was something else wrong. One of my toe nails started to hurt and once more I resorted to walking. then I stopped. took my shoe off. took the sock off and I was ready to remove the nail if I had to. but everything was fine, the nail was in place...only a bit sore. I put the sock back on and the shoe back on and I started to run again. It was then that I saw the 4:15 pacers overtake me and I thought nooooooooooooooooooo!!! I caught up with them and I was hoping to stay behind them until the finish line. But at the drink station around the 35k marker my legs started to ache. I hadn't taken the second gel, of course, and I could feel it big time! I slowed down to drink and eat and I lost the pacers.
it was getting really hot. the excellent drink stations were at every 5k and after 2k we were given sponges (I loved them). at the beginning I could drink at the drink stations and get fine to the next one. after the 35k marker the drinks stations seems really far apart and got really thirsty and desperately in need of water!
I walked and run between 35k and 39k. I kept looking at my watch and I knew that I could walk all the way till the end and still beat my pb of 4:36:30, but I wanted to get a sub-4:20 and after the 39k marker I run, very slowly, but I run. Last drink station and we were in Padova. The city centre though was empty. People went to eat leaving us with no support. I could have done with some. I plodded until the last 400m. when you get into the square (prato della valle) then lots of people cheer you on. I looked around to see where my family was and I finally saw my bro taking pictures of me. I looked at the big watch: 4:20 and I knew I had done it!!! YAY! real time 4:19:29!!!!
I was a bit disappointed by the way the race went but was well chuffed with the fact that depsite all that I still managed to take 17 minutes off my pb. I know that I can get a sub-4. I just need some time. Maybe next year, but I'll get there.
After the mara it was just amazing: my family, my friends, pasta party, concerts, pictures. It was just madness!!
Now I want to get ready for NEWRY MARATHON on May 26th. I miss racing in the irish weather :-)