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Loch Ness Marathon 2015 by Chris Dykes, Store Manager

Posted on Monday, December 7th, 2015, By London Covent Garden
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I have always wanted to run a marathon, the challenge it presents against yourself mentally and physically is something I had to feel.

I started running about 4 years ago, nothing serious I just would pop out for a short run on a day off or even run home from Islington when I worked there. For the last 2 years I have up my game, determined to finish\survive a marathon, London always appealed to me with those huge crowds cheering everyone on but it was the Highlands of Scotland that got my attention and in January 2015 I had signed up for the race on September 27th.

I gave myself 3 months’ worth of training, twice a week I would head out gradually working my distance up, I got to 20 miles in training leaving the last 6.2 miles to race day.

September 27th came round quickly and I was focused, I had read about the hills on the course and at 19 miles there was the biggest incline I was dead set on attacking that hill instead of fearing it.

Before the race on the start line a group of bagpipers walked through the runners playing there very Scottish sound, an amazing moment being in the highlands.

The race started at 10am and I felt good, the first half of the run went exactly to plan and as expected I would slow around the 15mile mark, which was fine as I would have enough time in the bank to finish in less than 4 hours (my target).

I got to 19 miles focused on attacking the incline; it was gruelling but attack it I did, energy gels were used to give me as much help as possible. After I completed the 19 mile hill I was feeling rather good, the next 3 miles were steady, I started to believe that I was going to finish this, I cruised in to the 22nd mile and suddenly I had a kick I started doing under 8 minute miles again! Where has this come from? I thought but I wasn’t going to worry I was going push on and finish strong!

I crossed the line in 3.33.12, I had smashed my target and I was super pleased. I always thought that if I finished a marathon I would declare straight away after, I would never do it again, instead I finished so well I think it would be rude not to do another!IMG_2259