Stephen's First Marathon

Posted by William 25/10/2018 1 Comment(s)

We've been following Stephen's progress over the summer as he trained for his first marathon. Stephen only began running in October 2017 and it has been an absolute pleasure supporting him on his journey over the last year. Read on to find out how he got on at Jersey Marathon 2018.  

On the 1st October 2017 I completed my first running event which was a 3K fun run at the Standard Chartered Jersey Marathon. This was also the furthest distance I had run without stopping in many years. I made the decision that I would complete the full Jersey Marathon on my one year “runner”versary and I would raise some funds for the Samaritans charity.

This year has been my first year as a runner and it has been exciting. During my first year I have completed 3 x 10k races, 2 x half marathons and a 13k race in preparation to get myself ready for the big event. I followed a beginner’s marathon training plan which I adapted to suit my needs and it was all going well up until four weeks before the marathon when injury struck.  Due to the increased mileage my Iliotibial Band decided to flare up. The marathon was in jeopardy. 

Fortunately I had a very good physiotherapist who was already helping me at the running classes I was attending for strength and conditioning, which I would recommend to any new runner. It is important to do strengthening exercise and not just rely on running alone. With some rest, plenty of foam rolling and some Kinesiology tape (or magic tape as I now call it) I managed to get myself to the starting line.  

I was very nervous on the day and my stomach was like a washing machine however, some Active Root soon sorted that out. My main concern was the I.T band, would it flare up? 

I made my way to the start line and met up with my running buddy Becky who had agreed to start with me and help me get my nerves under control. This was Becky’s third marathon and her second Jersey marathon.  This helped me a lot as Becky was very similar pace to me and we actually ended up running most of the marathon together. 
The marathon itself was very scenic as the island of Jersey is very beautiful, a lot of it was run on the country lanes and the last 6 miles was along the seafront. There was plenty of support a long the way and the marshals were really friendly. I am happy to report that the I.T Band did not flare up and I managed to keep a relatively good pace up until mile 20. I then started to tire and needed to take some walk breaks, which I did for the next 5 ½ miles. By this time Becky had gone on ahead of me. 

As I got to the last ½ mile my wife and a small group of friends had gathered and cheered me on to the finish line. My aim was to complete the marathon within 5 hours and to be honest I would have been really happy just to finish it within the cut off time which was 6hours 30minutes. I am happy to report that I managed to complete my first marathon in 4hours 45minutes and 4seconds! 

It was a great experience and it is still taking some time to sink in that I am now a marathoner! It was tough and I was in two minds as to whether I would run another marathon. However, I was fortunate enough to get a charity place with Samaritans Purse to run the London Marathon 2019, so I guess I will be running another marathon. 
Thank you to my wife who is my biggest fan, my family and friends. My Physiotherapist Lisa from Jersey Sports and Spinal Clinic and Active Root for the supply of the ginger goodness.