Sunday, 28 October 2012

5x50 Day 50: Preston Guild Marathon

Today was the final day of the 5x50 Challenge. If you haven't heard of it, it's both a personal and charity challenge with participants undertaking at least 5k of walking, running or cycling every day for 50 days.

I decided to end the challenge as I began it; With a marathon.

Every twenty years, Preston celebrates its historic Guilds which were granted through Royal Charter over 700 years ago. This is the first Guild since Preston was granted City status in 2003.

Collecting the race number the day before was great. Quick, friendly and efficient. I also got to meet Liz McColgan who was most interesting. The warm autumn sun added an unexpected and pleasant bonus to the whole affair.

Sadly, proper Lancashire weather was delivered overnight: Cold, windy and very, very wet. I stayed inside the Preston Guildhall until the very last moment to stay warm. The disposable poncho from the Marathon de Paris came in very handy and I didn't dispose of it until past 8k.

The race began with a 6k out and back followed by a second longer one for the rest of the distance. Running out into the driving rain was amongst the toughest runs I have done. Normally, I struggle with overheating but the issue was with keeping warm today. Even wearing two hats didn't help and I really wished I'd brought some gloves.

Although I wasn't feeling too fatigued my pace dropped steadily from about 12k onwards. A couple of stops at the First Aid posts slowed things still further as my soaked feet blistered.

The return leg with the wind was still very cold and wet. It was with enormous relief that the finish eventually came into view. Thanks, once again, to my family for picking me up and feeding me hot tea and came.

Next up will be making an attempt on Snowdon in a few days and then another marathon in two weeks.