The very kind film crew who were filming me running the marathon have finished editing their documentary video. Please spare a few minutes having a watchhttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt1753926/
Well, the race is over, my legs, shoulders, arms...well everything aches and I'm over the moon to have finished. For those intrested I've written my race report below.
Before I start with my report I have to say the organisation was fantastic, the Brighton Marathon team clearly spent a considerably long time planning for the event and it went off soooo well. It appears everyone in the city was behind the race, from the local winos cheering everyone on in a slightly drunken slur, to people hanging out of their home windows cheering and some playing music very loudly from their speakers to give us runners an extra push. By mile 4 I had already heard trance and jazz. How’s that for a mix, I love Brighton!Anyway the report.
I’d been planning the preparation for the race day for a week, Mr Testicles does complicate things some what as you would expect from a huge novelty costume. I had everything all planned out and then the volcanic dust cloud put those plans in the bin. My parents were stuck in Tenerife (and still are). After a few changes I had a revised plan.I left home at 6:40 to get to my parents in Brighton for 7am for an interview with a film crew who were covering race day. 40 minutes later we were done and were in a taxi on the way down to Preston Park where the race was to start. My sister, film crew, Mr Testicles and I arrived and tried to find the main stage. After walking across the park twice we gave up and I left the suit with my sister and did my warm up and stretches. By the time I got back it was already 8:35 so I put on my 2ltr camelbak and then popped on Mr Testicles. This is when I got mobbed for photos. After 5 minutes of photos I walked to the starters pen and waited for the off. At this point I was not nervous at all, I felt really good about my training and was just excited at running a marathon in my home city.
The gun went and within 10 minutes I was out of my pen and on the course. I had only taken the first few steps over the start line and the crowd went crazy when they saw Mr Testicles, I waved for what felt like 3 miles to the locals on the side lines.Mile 5 started an uphill section so I dropped the pace a bit and enjoying waving at the locals again and making rubbish jokes about the costume. My wife and Mother-in-law were at mile 5 so I stopped for a few seconds gave her a hug (just to embarrass her) and said good luck to her. I’d been saying Good Luck to everyone for the last 5 miles.
About 5.5m I had a problem, my fan had stopped working. I considered my options for a few hundreds yards and thought I NEED a fan so I made a detour and popped into a local shop still wearing the costume and asked for a 9volt battery on the house. The shop owner gave me the battery at no charge and I popped it in with the help of local and I was off again. Mile 7 started another uphill section so I dropped my head down and plugged on. I heard a running friend (Sam) shout out and wished him luck.Around mile 11 I was in trouble again. My fan had stopped again but it was not the battery, the wires had come off the terminals. I walked and tried for what felt like miles to get the fan to restart. I was getting hotter and hotter. I stopped for a minute at mile12.5 at St Johns Ambulance and got some tape and taped the battery wires in place. I was off again but the damage was done, I was now walking. I had nothing left. Mile 13 (hit at 3:20) was a swap of gels, food bars and batteries. I stopped for a minute, had a chat with the wife, told her I was in agony, took for gels etc. and was off again. I started a small jog and I was so close to crying, the support from the locals was amazing, truly uplifting that it gave me goosebumps. I have never felt anything like that before. At the back of my mind though I had no idea how on earth I was going to make another 13 miles feeling like this. I got my head down and walked as fast as I could.
Mile 16 I high fived a young child dressed as Spiderman I had exactly the same outfit as a child. For a few minutes I forgot about the pain and continued.Another mile ticked by and at mile 17 I was concentrating so much on just walking I walked straight in to a parked car and smashed my knees into a bumper and face planted into the bonnet. I heard the locals laugh and to honest I don’t blame them, I wished I seen it from the outside! After about 10 seconds I dragged my sorry self off the bonnet and plugged on.
Mile 18, the fan stopped working again but I could not get the tape off so I had to go without, I’ve never been so annoyed, I had the spare battery right next to the dead one! I was only 8 miles from the finish. I carried on going and texting the wife at random points to let her know I was still moving and alive, I worried her a little bit at the half waypoint, I also ignored her text to come and collect the costume. Mr Testicles and I were going to finish!At mile 20 I entered the industrial site at Shoreham power station and I don’t remember much about it apart from a few friends that came out to wish me on and seeing the cold shower at mile 23 that I wished I could have run under. But I had to ignore it and continue. Mile 24 came and went, mileage 25 came and I decided to run as much of the last mile as I could. I probably ran about 3/4 of the mile and made sure I was running over the line. I crossed the line in 6:32, way way off my 5 hour target but I was glad it was over. As much as I hated sections of the race I am so proud to have completed it all.
I’m not sure why it all went so wrong but it did. Running 10 miles in the costume feels like running 20 miles without. I was just not ready for the extra weight of the camelbak and the 5kg suit.I was not sure if I was going to do a race report but after reading Sam's I knew I had to, if only to remind my self about the course, the supporters, the atmosphere, the highs, the lows and how proud I feel.
My plan now? Re-run Brighton Marathon next year without the costume and another year...........run London Marathon in Mr Testicles :o)Darren
I've bored some of you all already about my intended plan. For those that I have not bored here it comes!
In April 2010 I will be running the Brighton Marathon in aid of the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign.
I've been allocated a guaranteed place for Brighton Marathon on the 18th April 2010 so I've been pounding the streets of towns between Brighton and Lancing already in preparation.
Now comes the twist that I am hoping is going to increase the sponsorship drive. If you are not familiar with the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign then you are also unlikely to have ever seen their mascot called Mr Testicles. With a name like Mr Testicles you can well imagine what he looks like, yep a 3 foot tall foam testicle! This is what I will be running the Marathon wearing, a giant testicle. You need to see him for yourself though as I cannot do him justice in words alone.
I’m not expecting the marathon to be easy but I’m hoping the numerous sporting activities I currently do will assist me along the way. I’m hoping for a finish time of under 5 hours! The training has started and I’m ahead of progress so fingers crossed but rest assumed I’ll keep you updated with my progress.
I will be running the Brighton 10k on November 15th whilst wearing the testicle suit to try and gauge how difficult it's going to be. Pop down, say hello and be proud to be supporting a giant testicle.
Anyway, on a more serious note, any guys reading I strongly advise you to check out the work the charity have done. The website is http://www.malecancer.net/
Please please dig deep and donate what ever you can. Just remember I'll sponsor you when you next do something crazy!
For those on Facebook we have a group setup for you all to come and join, all are welcome so stop in and say hello
Thanks so much everyone
Update 12th November
I've decided that running the Brighton 10k and the Brighton Half Marathon as well gives me more of a challenge so as of now my I'm training for a 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon. That means you have to dig even deeper now.
Update 19th Feb
I've had to pull out of the Brighton Half Marathon this coming Sunday to ensure a small injury is not made worse. Thanks for all your support and wishes along the way.