Well that was a little disappointing - understatement of the year. I think I ran a sensible race today. My 5k splits round to 30k were the dogs. Everyone was 21 minutes - a testament to the 3:00 pacers - they were brilliant. I stuck with them all the way - all the way until it went tits up, that is. At about 32k my groin strain kicked in. I've had it for a while, sitting there in the background. In all honesty it didn't slow me too badley. Yes, I dropped off the pacers but only very slowly and I still felt OK to break the big three. Round to 35k the split only dropped to 22 - another one of those, even a 23 and I would have been fine.
I'd been a good boy on the way round, taking water at all the water stations on the way round but in such a big marathon why the hell do they use cups? What the hell is that all about? Surely bottles are the way to go. More water went up my nose and down my front than in my mouth.
Just after the 35k point I blew. Which I now realise was dehydration. With about 3k to go I began weaving all over the place. I have no recollection of any of the sights or the route from that point on - we walked back down the course and I couldn't recall running there! I just made it to the finish before collapsing and then being carried to the doctors tent as I couldn't stand let alone walk. I was not in a good way. I spent ten minutes lying down with the doctors - stop it - before being allowed to go down the finishing channel to collect my medal. It took me about thirty minutes to get through to the end - and it was all of 800m. After about 2.5 litres of water I was fully compus-mentus and able to walk at more than a shuffle - a few times I came to a stop during those thirty minutes and ended up taking a few steps backwards before going forwards again. It wasn't pretty.
I was over here with a few of the guys - and girls - from the gym. They were all pleased with their respective times. Steve from the gym finished in 3:07, just 12s ahead of GWR's Andy Smith, also in 3:07. Next up was Simon from the gym in 3:24 then followed by Bitton's Steve T in 3:41 and Cathy from the Gym in 3:42. Cathy was over the moon with her time as this was her first marathon. I don't know the score as to Marcia, she will have got round I'm sure - and she was happy with all the shopping she's done - think she may have been close to a pb on that front :) Hats off to all of them.
Anyway, that is almost certainly my last marathon. I know when I'm beat and I think that moment is now. I've enjoyed my time over here in Berlin and I think we've all had a good time. I have not acheived what I hoped I would in the Berlin Marathon but it was a pb so I suppose I should be happy to get something - and now I can at least get back to the fell running. Now, whose getting the beers in...
Thought for the day: Better to know than not
PS. Only 63 days to go until the Luton Marathon [turns to camera and winks]