Day 128 – Post Game

Posted: May 14, 2012 in May
Tags: , , , ,

When I crossed the line I was shattered. Shattered and completely frozen. I was just kind of stumbling around for a bit when someone handed me my medal which, as it was still in it’s wrapper, I just stuck in my pocket. Usually when you finish a race it’s clear where you should go, you get a medal, hand in your chip, get a bottle of water, couple of bananas, maybe a goodie bag. When I finished today there was a big stack of water bottles (as I’d hope, the race was sponsored by Deep River Rock) but there wasn’t a banana or piece of fruit anywhere to be seen. Come to think of it there hadn’t been any out on the route either, maybe there was some sort of banana embargo in Belfast? I don’t really know, but it was unusual. In terms of post race nutrition, all there was to be had was packets of crisps. Not exactly what the body needs when you finish running 26.2 miles but I suppose it’s better than a kick in the balls.

Food wasn’t my principal conern when I finished the race however. I was in dire need of an emergency blanket (you know those big rolls of tinfoil you see runners wandering round wearing after marathons) as I was starting to get really, really cold. I’d been practically frozen down my left hand side since the Lough of the Apocalypse but since I stopped running the cold had seeped into every part of my body. I asked one of the marshalls where I could get a blanket and was told that they’d run out. At the time I was too cold to get annoyed but thinking about it afterwards I started to get quite pissed off about it. I finished 1069th out of 2940 (and that was just the numbers in the full marathon). That means that almost two thirds of the people finishing the race were going to be coming in after me and none of them were going to get a blanket. On a day like this – freezing cold, wet, windy – the people that are going to need the blankets most are going to be the people who are out there longest. It’s not like they didn’t know what the weather was going to be like. It’s Ireland, in May, and the five day forecast turned out to be spot on. That combined with the lack of any sort of proper post race nutrition made for a miserable hour or so after the race.

My wife and kids were meant to be meeting me with my gear but there was no sign of them anywhere and after wandering around for about fifteen minutes I was just getting colder and colder. I saw a queue of people waiting to get into some sort of pre-fab or building so went over there and as I got nearer the door I could feel the warmth emanating from it. I squeezed in to what turned out to be the toilets, changing rooms and showers and just stood there shivering as I tried to get some warmth back into me. Some generous soul opposite me must have notice my shivering, or just how generally miserable I looked, and offered me his blanket. Seeing as he had numerous layers on underneath it I gratefully accepted it and just huddled up in it against the wall for forty five minutes or so until my family turned up. As soon as they did I got changed into some clean, dry clothes and got the hell out of there as quickly as I could. Which really wasn’t very quick at all. Feet, calves and expecially quads were all aching but I shuffled on out until we finally managed to find some way of getting back to our car.

Belfast marathon was definitely an experience, and I was delighted with my time, but there were quite a few aspects of it that I really wasn’t impressed with. Next year if I’m looking to do an early season marathon it’ll definitely be the one right on my doorstep (Kildare). The only reason I didn’t do it this year was I’d registered to do the half (deferred from last year). Which reminds me, hopefully this aching doesn’t last too long as I’ve a half marathon to do in six days.




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