This quote by Paula Radcliffe sums the marathon experience up for me.
“You can’t become a winner overnight, or even in a couple of years, it takes time. You will lose races and you will have to accept that, learn from it and believe that you’ll win the next one, knowing that you’ll probably lose that as well. All the time you have to keep believing that one day you will win.”
The 2016 NYC marathon was the spark for me to run all of the six world marathon majors, and the 2018 edition did not disappoint.
The challenge of the marathon is you spend months training for a day. And then spend time afterwards trying to make sense of the things both in and outside of your control.
The race showed me, that you learn more about yourself when things go wrong. Sometimes the win is not quitting when it gets hard, but facing it with courage.
The first half went well, I was on my target pace.
Then I got sick in the second half and I had to dig deep to finish. Whilst my stride had shortened, and I felt terrible I was determined not to walk, or give up on bettering my 3:28 PR until it was no longer possible.
So I stopped looking at my watch and just focused on doing the best that I could in each moment until I crossed the finish line.
The crowds were amazing, the virtual cheer cards were an excellent addition bringing your family and friends support direct to you in real time.
When I crossed the finish line, I needed medical attention. Thank you to the amazing Women and Men who helped me and the countless other runners who needed medical assistance.
When I started struggling, I had the option to embrace the situation, and focus on doing my best in each moment, or I had the choice to do the opposite. Thankfully I chose the first option. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t pretty, but when I got confirmation of my time I had set a new marathon PR running 3:22 and bettered my previous NYC time of 3:59.
On the other side of wanting to quit when things got rough, can be something amazing. NYC Marathon thank you for the lessons.
Thank you list:
Firstly I have to thank my family for their support in allowing me to train and run these races.
Secondly thank you to the medical staff. At the finish line, I needed medical attention and you all were amazing! I can’t thank you enough!
Thanks to the NYRR for the invitation place.
Thank you to everyone who sent me best wishes. I’m sorry that I haven’t responded to everyone but, I read each comment and it gave me a big lift. A great feature of the race was showing virtual cheer cards, it really was a new and unique touch by the NYRR.
Thanks to ASICS for the great kit, and to my FrontRunner teammates for your support for the race duration.
Thank you to the crowd, you all gave me so much energy. When I felt rough, you made me smile.
Thanks to everyone that I caught up with out there.
Thanks to Science in Sport for supporting my nutritional needs and for allowing me the platform to share my story recently on your Instagram story’s takeover.
The team at OOFOS for the 2018 NYC sports recovery sandal.
Thanks to my coach John!
Thank you to the team at the Altitude Centre in London for helping develop my fitness.
Thank you to Suunto for supplying the new Suunto 9 for the race.
Of all the planes and all the seats, I happened to sit next to Danny from World Marathon Majors. He created the video content from my footage at the Boston Marathon finish line to watch it click this link. A big thanks to you Danny for putting together that film, as it really captures what earning the Six Star World Marathon Medal meant to me.
Lastly Peter Ciaccia, thank you for your role as President of the NYRR, as you retire after 18 years, I wish you all the best moving forward. Whilst making all the NYRR events possible is the result of a great wider team past and current, you’ve played a significant part in making the NYC Marathon as great as it is.