Liverpool Marathon Sunday 28.05.17 – Nick Frewin
This is a little tale of a running exploit of mine. Firstly I got old! Then secondly I went to run the Liverpool marathon.
Some people might think age clearly has addled my brain, however there was a little rhyme and reason for the above (not the getting old, that seemed to happen as a matter of course)……. and that is to attempt to make the qualifying time for a straight entry in to the London Marathon.
Typically, one thing most runners have (from weekend warriors to Parkrunners to elite athletes), is a goal/dream/target to run London Marathon. There are a few ways to get an entry to London. These are raising money for a recognised partner charity – usually requiring commitment to Łthousands; being in a running club who get a couple of entries to distribute as they wish; entering an open ballot – 386,000 applicants this year; receiving an invite as an elite athlete; or achieving a qualifying time, which includes ‘good for age’ categories. ‘Good for age’ gives a sliding scale of times to beat based on age ranges, for male and female. The qualifying time for male 60-69 is 3 hours 45 minutes, whereas for 50-59 it is 3 hours 20 minutes, so basically a 25 minute bonus for getting to age 60! So that is the rhyme and reason for waiting until a week after my birthday to target a specific marathon. That, and entries for London close mid-June.
The Liverpool Marathon was hillier than expected. Most of my training has been around the streets of Sheffield, so plenty of hills. I also ran the Sheffield half-marathon a month or so earlier, which is marketed as a tough, hilly event. But Liverpool still surprised me… or rather my legs. The route takes in Goodison Park and Anfield, tops off at Everton Ridge with stunning views of the city, for those not focusing in the tarmac 3 feet in front. It tours several beautiful parks, takes you back into the city and past the Cavern, you run down Penny Lane, and every few miles there is a band playing rock and roll music. A fantastic experience for runners and spectators alike. My run went pretty much according to schedule, ahead of time through the first half and only really coming unstuck with about 6 miles to go, with the last 4 miles along the promenade being very hard. As each of those final miles passed I checked my watch, tried a mental calculation with worst pace case scenarios, although not quite working out a hands and knees pace, just to reassure myself I would make the time I needed. Spectator support was amazing, and I kept running…. well my version of running by that point…. finishing with a time 3 hours 33 minutes and 41 seconds, very pleased with what I had achieved, and over 11 minutes inside the London qualifying time. I was 450th out of 2994 runners, and 1st in age group.
A few people have asked if I was sponsored or have a Just Giving page, which I haven’t. However, one of my best friends is good friends with a couple in her running club who have a disabled daughter Holly, and they ran the marathon to raise money for Claire House, a hospice in Liverpool for children with life limiting illnesses. If anyone would like to make a contribution to their fund in honour of my run that would be brilliant.
You can read more and donate here.
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