Copyright 2021 - Dundee Roadrunners

Bob Wood - My First Marathon

It's 7 a.m. on a cold, wet Sunday in April. Time to get up and have some breakfast, just a couple of rolls and jam with a pot of tea. After breakfast go through my checklist which I checked three times yesterday. Start drinking water every 15 minutes for the next hour. Visit the toilet, the first of about four visits during the next couple of hours. 


I get dressed and make my way to the Caird Hall to meet up with my fellow marathon virgins. One hour to go. Itís time to get changed and warmed up for the start. I have to leave the changing room as the mixture of so many different ìmagic lotionsî is overpowering.


With only thirty minutes to go I put my baggage in a safe place and make my way to the start. The pipes are playing as we all line up in the High Street and I sense a strange buzz around me, itís the nervous talk and laughter emanating from the pack. I start to think, have I trained enough - maybe a couple of longer runs were needed - have I drank enough water - how fast do I go at the start - should I run with someone? All of a sudden I wonder what Iím doing here, then I hear the starterís gun and Iím off on a journey into the unknown.


After the first three miles. chatting to my fellow runners, I begin to wonder what all the worry was about, but gradually as the miles go by I start to get tired and my legs become heavy. At around the twenty mile mark Iím down to a snailís pace. This must be the wall Iíve read about in the running magazines. A couple of miles later on reaching Lochee, my spirits are lifted by the encouragement from the spectators lining the route and I think ìitís all downhill from here to the finishî, so relaxing a bit I try to imagine entering the finishing straight in the High Street. Once round the Angus Hotel into the High Street, I can see the finish banner ahead and try to find that extra bit of energy to sprint for the line. Chariots of Fire is playing in the background as I cross the finish line and a smiling face puts a medal around my neck. I feel as though Iíve won the race.


A couple of days later I become depressed, then realise whatís causing it. Iíve completed my first Marathon and I donít know where to go from here.


However, the decision was made for me upon crossing the finish line. I felt as though Iíd won the race, others were just glad it was all over.


This was the start of my love affair with the Marathon, my first taking over 3 hours, and I have since completed over thirty, culminating in my first sub 2:30 in Dundee.

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