Kath Cousins of journey to Manchester wrote...
I began running in 2006 not because I particularly wanted to or because I had any goals to run or run races I didn’t even know what distance a 5k or 10k was.
However like most things I gave it a go with no goals and just came to the conclusion I would feel fitter and enjoy eating cake as would be burning a few more calories.
I ran with work colleagues and friends who were more experienced and who would stop and wait for me to catch them up. I discovered the Runners Centre in Lancaster and the opportunity to make friends and join the local running club at Lancaster and Morecambe Athletics Club. I started to attend group sessions and was met with a mixture of running ability and more importantly made some new friends who helped me to plan my goals.
So it began I entered the London Marathon in 2012, a scary prospect having completed half marathons with no specific training times or planning. I threw myself into the experience sought advice and came in at a time of 4:11. The bug set in I entered more and more races through to the ultra Keswick to Barrow. All this from no running experience and always still training thinking I will never sub 4 hours on a marathon or 3:30 hours on a marathon. It happened I completed Chester Marathon 2013 in 3:35 a personal best by 20 minutes previously.
I continued to go from strength to strength in that I ran a next personal best at The Great Langdale 2014 as well as making my mark as First Lady! I have continued to go from strength to strength completing a number of marathons gaining First Lady at Windermere Marathon in 2015.
Like with all sports I have suffered injuries which have caused set backs and had a negative affect in racing. Since August 2017 I finally took the decision to receive some dedicated coaching advice through Lancaster & Morecambe Athletics Club and it has made me achieve so many positives and personal bests. I ran Manchester Marathon 2018 in 3:03:38 and enjoyed every second. I am still working towards achieving the sub 3 hour mark which I am hoping to achieve. Like with all races I was nervous, had tears and thought I can’t do this I’m not doing this or I am not going. The day was made even more special by meeting a number of running friends she supporters at the start and finish.
I love running and love being part of a club. I also have friends through Kendal Amateur Athletic Club and have represented them in races. A community of people who all work together to achieve the same goals and support each other along the way.
I have been overwhelmed by the amount of support I have received through all my friends and family which I am positive made everything go well for me at Manchester. I can’t wait for the next race and the next goal.
And Louise Goddard had the following to say about her story..
It was a cool, cloudy day in Manchester on Sunday. Perfect weather for a marathon, staying over the night before in a hotel near the start was an added bonus. I hadn't done my usual 'laser focus' preparation for this marathon, due to having quite bad back pain for months over winter. I had supplemented a lot of running for 'strength and conditioning' work, trying to alleviate the pain and improve mobility. I wasn't sure how this would affect the race, I had done an off road 22 mile run in March but only averaged about 35-40 miles a week for race preparation. The first ten miles went as planned, averaging about 7.25 per mile, as I was getting to half way I normally feel warmed up and ready to push on; but this time I started to feel 'off', a bit heady and my place slowed, my hips started to feel very tight and crampy. I changed my running style over the next few miles trying to find some comfort, mentally I was becoming very negative, worrying about grinding to a halt and not finishing. After more water and a caffeine gel I perked up but still couldn't go above 8 min miles, so I just kept pushing that speed through gritted teeth and, after feeling a bit teary at mile 23 when the crowds were roaring; I ploughed on and raced to the line. I achieved 3.28.20, my PB is 3.21.20 and last year I posted 3.26, all at the same marathon. A mixture of wear and tear, age, injury and muggy weather all contributed to the slowing but I was still happy to go under 3.30. Seeing familiar faces on route is a great help, the shouts from strangers really lift your spirits. Well done to team mates Katherine Cousins and Mike Roy who also ran bravely.
Mike Roy - kept it short and to the point from his facebook wall Mike said
Well today just wasn't my day at the Manchester marathon, I really struggled from mile 11 I felt like I had Lead boots on ha but I got round and finished it in 4hours 3mins which is a big disappointment compared to last years’ time of 3hours 18mins but I’ll move on now and focus on 5 and 10k races over the summer and have another crack at the marathon late in the year. Well done to everyone that run today