London Mini Marathon
The London mini-Marathon is as big for the country's young people as it is for the 40,000 men and women. This year the club had several representing the North-West of England in the National Road Race Championships. Megan Davies competed in the U17 race and in the U13 girl's race the club provided 50% of the team with Aine Cunningham, Niamh Nugent and Danielle Stringer. All of them competed against teams from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the eight other regions. Not only had they an invaluable experience but all of them performed very well. Danielle Stringer was 30th, Aine Cunningham 46th and Niamh Nugent 110th. This is Megan report with her result at the end.
"It was my second mini marathon and it will be my last as I will be too old by next year. We travel down by bus as a team on the Saturday afternoon which is really good as you get to know the rest of the team and it is always good fun with all the other athletes. When we get to where we are staying we always go for a run to loosen up after the bus journey; then we have a shower before our tea which is always pasta; then we get to talk and chat with the other people in the team; and other athletes from other areas that we have met over the year.
We have a team meeting the night before the race; mostly for the ones who have never been before; then we go back to our rooms which are really nice. We are given a breakfast pack the night before as it is a really early start and we do not meet for breakfast; we have it in our room. Before I went to bed I did all my packing for the next day as there is not a lot of time to get organised in the morning. The bus is always a lot quieter on the Sunday morning than it was on the Saturday; NERVES.
It is not just a race for some people but a chance to catch up with friends that we have not seen for a while. We all want to do well for the team but for ourselves as well; after the race has finished we get another chance to speak to other athletes that we may not see for a long time. The atmosphere is always tense at the start as there are a lot of nerves. Some of the girls from the London borough's race at the start were chatting and very relaxed; I don't think they took it as seriously as we did. This year in memory of the tragedy in Boston earlier in the week all the mini marathon competitors ran with black ribbons pinned to their tops. Also before the races started, all the competitors and team managers had 30 seconds silence.
When the race started there are some people that went off too fast; you have to be careful not to get drawn into running too fast at the start; you need to be confident in your pace otherwise you will fade badly before the finish. Once the race has started it is not like any other race of the year as there are lots of people cheering all the way; clapping and encouraging all the runners to do well. There are signs that tell you how far you have to go; not just for us but the full marathon runners. There is always a large crowd when we turn and pass Big Ben; get to the top of this road and turn right onto the mall; according to the sign there are 385yds to go; if you have anything left to give now is the time to give it.
When the race is finished we are all given a goody bag with a London marathon T shirt, a small rucksack and lots of other goody's; we wait for the rest of the team to complete then we stroll out of the finishing area. Only athletes and team managers are allowed in the finishing area. When we leave here, we had a team photo taken as a memento of the day then we all walk back to where the buses are waiting with our bags; we spend more time chatting about the race how we have done etc. Then everybody splits up and goes their separate ways. I met two of the Scottish athletes that I am friends with and have raced a few times so we spoke about the race and what we are looking forward to for the rest of the year. It is really friendly and you get a lot of opportunity to meet people from all over the country; it is the best atmosphere of any race of the year. If you are lucky enough to be picked to go to this race YOU WILL HAVE A GREAT TIME no matter where you finish.
I walked down to watch some of the marathon finishing with my parents. We watched the leading women and men race beside Big Ben then we did some sightseeing. The other thing about the day is if you get to use the London underground you do not need to pay; you just show them your number and they open a gate for you to get to the trains like a VIP.
I finished 12th in The British Road Race Championships and 15th overall, I improved by 47 seconds on my time from last year doing the 3 mile course in 17 mins and 33 seconds. Megan Davies.
Posted 24/04/2013 14:05