Well, it's exactly a year since my first ever marathon and I went back to the Marathon du Médoc for a second go. It's been a busy year and this was the 12th marathon event I have entered, finishing all but one. Unlike previous races, I decided to take the festive runner approach to this one, making the most of the entertainments, atmosphere, food and wine that make this such an unusual event.
Fancy dress is a major part of the Médoc and all participants are encouraged to enter into the spirit. Last year, I didn't and felt a little bit out of place, so this year I went a bit mad.
Yes, the armour is metal and, although it's relatively lightweight, it doesn't weigh nothing. Nor do those swords. And under it all is a large foam pad between a couple of shirts to keep it all from chafing.
On the way past a water spray at Beychevelle, I somehow managed to get my shoes soaked. This was a bad thing as I had no spare socks and no tape on my feet.
|My new friend: Emmy|
|And Ice Cream!|
We carried on with some run-walk as we battled with nausea, fatigue, blisters and hydration but kept going forwards. Her relentless optimism was a fantastic boost for me and we both managed to run across the line. For me, it was a shockingly bad time (over six and a half hours) but, even more than usual, the triumph was in finishing in spite of the heat and without discarding the fancy dress. It was great to see my family cheering at me in the stands at the finish and I even managed a wave.
|I've felt better...|
Then, for the first time ever, I went to the medical tents to have my feet fixed up. It was suggested to me that I should start with getting my head examined but hey-ho. The two guys there took one look at my feet, then each other and then there was a drawing in of breath over teeth. Lotions, potions, unguents and bandages were applied followed by a foot massage and I left that tent in much better shape than I went in. I was so, so grateful.
Next steps are some recovery, making contact with Emmy and getting on with the actual 5x50 challenge...