Here at Go Ape we like to support our tribe into all things adventurous. We have an Adventure Fund set up for all staff to help them on their way.
Rob from Go Ape Buxton tells us about his first Marathon, fully supported by the Adventure Fund:
It was 12th March, 4 weeks before the Asics Manchester Marathon and after several conversations with different people I decided it would be good to challenge myself and sign up. Leaving myself short on time to train I got my trainers on and got straight to it.
I had a fairly decent fitness level to work with having completed several half marathons during 2015 so I had a rough idea of my pace and what I had to do to train.
The four weeks in between flew by and I managed to squeeze in 12 training runs before the big day. My training plan consisted of three runs a week; a short run, a long run and a quick run. I increased my distance each week and my long run from the previous week became my short run and so on and so forth. Having reached 16 miles as a long run and a week left I decided to have last week to taper down and completed three short runs just to avoid any chance of picking up any last minute injuries.
All of a sudden Sunday 10th April arrived and it was race day! I made my way to Old Trafford where the start line was and jumped in with all the other runners. Nerves kicked in but before I could panic too much Dr Ron Hill and sounded the horn and the race was underway. I crossed the start line and set my watch going to track my race. The mile markers seemed to be coming quickly to start with and I realized this was because I’d started off far too fast! During this time I felt good, I felt fast at one point I’m pretty sure I believed I could win it! Running at around 8:30min per mile for the first 15 miles soon took its toll and I gradually slowed my pace down to around 9minutes per mile which felt much more comfortable. I kept picking out different runners to either pace myself against or challenge myself to overtake as when you see a Gorilla running ahead you know you’re not running fast enough!
It was around mile 16 that I hit the well known wall and I was convinced my legs were going to give way.
This feeling lasted longer than I care to admit. I fought through this mental battle with the help of a few jelly babies and an energy gel and finally made it to mile 21 where I got my head back in the zone. The last 5 miles were very well supported by the public, which made everything easier as you can’t stop when people are watching you!
I reached the top of a hill half way through mile 25 and I could see the finish line in my sight! I couldn’t quite believe it, it was nearly over.
I decided it was now or never, I picked up my pace for the last section and embarked upon what I thought was a sprint finish however looking back I think it was nothing of the sort!
I heard a cheer from the side, which was my family standing waiting for me to finish. I crossed the finish line and it took a good few minutes for it to sink in that I had completed my first marathon! I made my way through the masses of people to receive my medal and race bag which included my finishers t-shirt. Next stop was the bar for what I believed to be my well-earned pint and to find out my official time. I checked my watch and couldn’t believe I had completed it in 4 hours and 3 minutes! I was over the moon.
Now a few days have passed since completing the race and I still believe it was one of the most difficult things I have ever completed however I am already on the look out for the next one!
Thanks for sharing with us Rob!