If you are new to running, or maybe thinking of taking on a

marathon and are looking at this report for some insight into

the preparation required, look away now and don't come back!

I'll keep this report short. My preparation for the London

Marathon was not the best. Maybe the build up to the

Connemarathon took it's toll or maybe I was just too busy but

I couldn't get much training in over the closing weeks. Having

run just 5 times in the previous 6 weeks I was not in good

shape. My long running consisted of a solitary 17 miler I did

back in January. With so little training in the bag I sought

the experienced Mr Rice for some advice. He suggested that I

walk for a minute every mile after 10. Get a little bit of

recovery in before the inevitable crash and burn tears me

apart. Good advice I thought and decided to go with that.

I was going to London with nothing more in my sights than my

21st medal and speculated at the starting line that If I came

in around 4:15 or even 4:30 I'd be happy enough. Although

Mick's strategy was already in doubt as I really really wanted

to see the lead pack on the opposite side of the road at my

mile 13 - they'd be at 22 - so I'd have to do a 1:50 first

half. I decided that I'd take his advice after 13 miles. So

there it was, strategy in place and we were ready to go.

Weather was absolutely perfect. No wind, a little drizzle all

the way, and lovely temperatures. I didn't have a watch and

the mile clocks had the women's time displayed for some

strange reason, so I had to subtract 45 mins every time I

wanted to check my pace. I did this a few times, but really

wasn't too bothered. With absolutely no trouble at all, I did

manage to see the elites at my half way point. I wasn't sure

what time but guessed it would be around the 1:50 mark.

Khannochi wanted to stop for a chat but I pushed him back into

the lead pack and told him to focus. I now know why he didn't

make Connemara!

I forgot to walk! I always get into trouble at mile 16 in

London, but didn't even notice I was running at all at that

point, breezed through to Mile 20 and was absolutely shocked

to do the calculations and realise that I was 2 minutes inside

my PB. That couldn't be right I thought. I knew I was slowing

slightly and was probably running about 9 min miles but was

feeling great.

I won't bore you all to sleep - but I did stop for the first

time with 800 metres to go. Peter D always gets a good laugh

out of the misery I describe when I crash But sorry Peter not

this time - I stopped to go and help a guy who was on all

fours and crawling to the finish. He couldn't even crawl in a

straight line. Myself and another runner picked him up and

took an arm each. All thoughts of time went out the window and

we struggled with our new buddy for about 100 metres. He

couldn't even put his feet on the ground without going

straight down. Eventually the St John's ambulance people took

him off the course. I don't think he was conscious when I left

him. Poor guy.

Anyway, a quick wave to the Queen and around the corner to the

finish line in 3:46.

I looked up my splits and was even more shocked to see that my

10K splits read like Mick Rice's - just a tad slower





Johnny said I shouldn't train again.

Now, who want's to put my strategy together for Belfast next



21 down - 79 to go.