I started training at the back end of 2019 for the original marathon date in Spring 2020. It felt a bit odd to train for an event that I knew in the back of my mind was quite likely to be postponed. After my training peaked with a hilly 23 mile long run round Rutland Water, frustratingly, it was postponed. The cycle was repeated for Autumn 2020, Spring 2021 and finally Autumn 2021. Like a lot of people, I really enjoy competing and racing, so I did miss events and sessions at the Athletics Track.
The Manchester Marathon was very well organised with regular emails, lots of useful info and they were very open about the likelihood of postponement. When you enter you provide an estimated finish time, which you can amend later so you should be starting with other runners of a similar pace. The organisers provide clear instructions of where to be and when and there is an excellent tram system to get there.
The course is Peterborough type flat with only a few flyovers and a couple of short hills. It was well supported with water stations, sports drinks, gels and very satisfyingly skips to throw the used water bottles in to. The crowds were great all the way round, especially the lady who went and got me a drink the first time I was sick. I also didn’t expect to hear “You’ll never walk alone” in Manchester. There were a smattering of Flintstones, dinosaurs and rhinos but most of course were in normal running kit. I believe there were only two Werrington Joggers running; Wendette and myself.
Although I was disappointed with my finish time, it was a great experience to train and run my first marathon at such a terrific event.