The marathon has a number of options:
- those (insane) people keen on running the full 26 miles
- those that want to run the half marathon and;
- those that want to run in a relay team of 4 x 10km
Training outside here is tough, yet essential for acclimatising to the sizzling heat of the Caribbean. I started in October, managing just over a mile, and every week I got a little bit farther, a little bit faster and a little bit fitter.
However, I still hadn't managed a full 10km (or 6.2 miles), the best I'd managed was 5 miles the week before the marathon. So I was nervous, very nervous in fact - even though we knew there was no chance of us winning the relay, there's still that bit of pressure to do it in your best time.
I ended up doing the first leg, the main advantage is the temperature, it's more like 78 / 26 degrees, whereas once the sun rises, the temperature quickly follows.
Setting my alarm for 3.45am was a little unpleasant, and despite being very tired, I got the usual case of struggling to sleep because I knew I needed to sleep - just what you need the night before a big race.
Heading into George Town at 4.30am, I was amazed by the atmosphere, hundreds of people had come down to support, despite it being in the middle of the night.
At 5am on the dot, the race started. I'd been warned by other more experienced runners not to fall into the trap of keeping pace with other runners and collapsing after a mile, so I was very conscious of keeping to my own more serene pace.
It was pretty strange running at that time, and the route takes you all the way down the main road from George Town to Spotts. Despite driving up and down that road hundred of times before, there were occasions when I had no idea where I was as it was so dark.
|Leg one of the relay is from the Start to the Turn Around point (far right)|
By mile three, I started to enjoy attempting to cool myself down by throwing the cup of water in my face.
Seems sensible, but this was a grave error, at mile four I grabbed a water and again chose to throw half of it in my face. Except it wasn't water, it was Gatorade. Not quite as refreshing as water, and twice as sticky.
Passing our road, I was greeted by Kim and the kids clapping me on, this really helped spur me on for the last couple of miles.
|Poor quality shot of me running, probably around 5.50am, still dark!|
At the end of your race, you're asked which water station you felt was best. The winning water station all get a prize, I believe it's flights to the US which is pretty good!
After an hour or so, we all headed into town to see the finish, the atmosphere was great and the team were duly given their runner's medals.
|One of our team running the fourth and final leg - notice the difference once the sun came up!|
|The Finish line - a sight many would have appreciated|