Breaking 3: The Manchester Marathon 2021

In May 2008 I ran my first timed event, the Great Manchester Run 10k, in 41:14. Literally since that day I’ve wondered if I had a sub three marathon in me, and my first half marathon in 2009 coming in under an hour and half made me think even more that I might have a chance. That was, however, until I ran my debut marathon in 2011 and struggled to even hit my loose 3:15 target, staggering over the line in 3:19:07.

A decade on from that first marathon, and three and a half years on from the immortal words “no more marathons”, it was time to attempt to run my best. A final attempt at the challenge that had been hanging over me for pretty much my entire running life.

Halftime

Last Sunday marked the halfway point of my third round of marathon training in 18 months, ideally this time with an actual race at the end of it.

Nine weeks down, nine to go. Over 450 miles in the bank already. So I thought I would be a good opportunity to report where I’m up to as I build up to what could be (but almost definitely won’t be) my final effort at the full distance.

One last hurrah

I’ve not properly pushed myself at the full marathon distance since my massive 2016 effort, with Londons 2017 & 18 all being about savouring the day, and I was never going to attempt anything mad for my virtual one last October.

So now it’s time to see what I’ve still got in me. A real race with real people for the first time since late 2019, on the flattest marathon course in the country, an opportunity to aim for that PB and see what happens.

9 mile

There’s been no races so far in 2021, virtual or otherwise. One little challenge that did materialise though was one of those that came about more by chance than anything, and then as is often my way subsequently became something to obsess over for a bit.

That was until I eventually achieved it.

A marathon for The Christie

Those of you who caught my last blog will be aware that another marathon was all coming, but what I didn’t mention was that my return to action will be fundraising one, aiming to (hopefully) raise a nice big total for The Christie.

And this is why.

Mid term report

Well that didn’t take long. A little over two and a half months ago, I sat here tapping away, writing my closing blog of 2013, wrapping up for the year and gently pondering whether or not to throw myself into a marathon for 2014. I mooted various options; London (virtually impossible, short of raising two…