This was a day that started with me not being in the mood for a marathon. Maybe that wasn’t strictly true, I think I was feeling tired and didn’t want to get out of bed at 6am, especially to be greeted with the cold and drizzling weather outside. I hauled myself out of bed, quickly got ready and jumped into my car. The weather got worse while passing Stafford and I wasn’t looking forward to the run. Race day parking was at Molineux Park, Wolves Football Ground, which was novel. It was still drizzling and cold so I elected to run with a thermal top under my t-shirt. As I walked towards the start at West Park, I saw all the other runners and could feel the atmosphere of the event. This finally got me in the mood and I was further pleased when the rain finally stopped.
I saw some people I knew, in particular Rosemary who sadly had to drop out of the 10in10 this year. It was a nice surprise to see her over from France and especially running again.
The course was a 2 lap affair mostly through Wolverhampton suburbia. Not particularly exciting but pleasant and included some park areas. The roads were closed to traffic and it was very well organised. The start and finish were set in West Park which made a very nice finish in the warm afternoon sunshine.
After talking to Rosemary the run started and I found myself near the back of the field. I hadn’t seen Gary this morning and knew he was there so decided to try and catch up to him. So I started with a fairly brisk 7.5 minute mile pace and found him after about 4 miles. The weather warmed up and I regretted having put on the thermal top. I was very relieved to be able to hand it to Gary’s wife Sandra at half way. I was actually finding the pace pretty comfortable and wondered how long I could last. If it was for the whole race then I would be on for a very good time. I pulled Gary along and got to half way in 1 hour 39 minutes, very good for me. I continued to press on I was finding it hard going but quite possible. I reckoned I could be on for around 3:22. I got to 23 miles and all of a sudden my legs had had enough, I hadn’t hit a wall but I knew my body had done enough for the day. I slowed off to 9 minute milling and finished still with a very respectable 3 hours 26 minutes 58 seconds. Gary went passed me with 3 miles to go, it was his turn to win today.
According to Sandra and Gary it is customary to have our photo taken at the Billy Wright statue at the Wolves ground after the race.