The FRR Club Place @ Brighton Marathon 17th April 2016 runner : Paul Osborne

My first experience of a Marathon(that was not a chocolate bar) after a drunken agreement with Mr Simon Wiggins back in December 2015 where he agreed(as I recall) that I should run on the FRR Club Place @ Brighton this crazy idea saw me step up to table and being a training plan for the Brighton 2016 Marathon (Asics plan by the way). My plan started mid December and it all seemed very far away at that point, oh a Marathon you have plenty of time to train for it or so I thought, the time soon goes and before you know it it’s race day.

Since joining the Road Runners 2 years ago my furthest distance was a half marathon (Ipswich of course) – so the test was on – bringing my OCD personality saw me running in all kinds of conditions at all times of the day, if it was on the plan it got done! I even took the Langham Essex 20 mile race in my stride in 2hr.52mins and a blistering run (well for me) at Stowmarket Half-Marathon saw me finish in 1h.40m I’d even stopped drinking so much beer.. my confidence was up, then reality caught me, a cold got on my chest, I missed the last long run, in a effort to make up the plan I did the long 22 a week late – injured myself and basically had a sharp wake up call. So roll onto race day meeting Jimmy and Shaun (fellow FRR)in the Park, and embarrassingly asking them if they wanted any Vaseline as I had some spare, in a park in Brighton of all places.

Into our race corals at 9am and what a mud bath that was like being in a Farmyard, on to the start line where I tried to high five Zoe Ball (she started the race by the way) but I nearly punched her instead, I was on a seemingly effortless 16-17 miles bits of mud flying hither and dither from my trainers, the pace was perfect 8.15-8.30 min miles, I’d gone past Spiderman and I was sure the Rhinos x 3 were behind me, my previous injury niggles had gone and there was plenty of super support on the course – high fives a plenty but with no sign of the 3hr.45min pacer who I’d hoped to hang onto meant I was running on my own but I felt good and cracked on, into mile 18 and 19 with plenty of water stations to refuel and hi-5 energy gels (words to the wise try them before your marathon day) it felt a shame to start flagging and this seemed a little unusual for me and certainly not in my plan by mile 20 I was in need of a serious kick in the backside, for the first time ever in a race I walked and had serious words with myself but to no avail, I’d hit the wall, totally smeared myself all over it and was not going to get past it, by this point my legs were cramping my hamstring cramped twice in mile 22 what agony I have never had that happen before and did not really know what to do so I was nearly sick instead, I even stopped and went to the toilet (there are plenty of port-a-loos) this all happended out by the furthest distance by the power station anybody who knows the Brighton Marathon will tell you that’s a hard area in the course, the support on the Marine Parade in the last 3 miles was the best I’ve ever experienced but by this point I was in a pretty deep black hole and not even their cheers were going to give me the last boost I needed. At last the finish line loomed large ahead of me, I managed to press on and run to the line…..

Going into the race I had 3 plans my targets were

Plan A 3h.46min (my plan time)

Plan B under 4.00h

Plan C – Finish It ( It was Plan C that won on the day )

So thanks to FRR I’ve done my very first Marathon- a incredible race at this the most challenging of distances, in super surroundings on a great course with heaps and heaps of support and epic organisation.

Will I do another OH YES, me and the Marathon have unfinished business, you heard it hear first!


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