Brighton, East Sussex,
Sunday 12th April 2015
Charlie Beardmore takes you through his most enjoyable day:
The beautiful sunny day dawned much too early, in the wonderful seaside setting of Brighton. All well and good, as long as you were not expected to run a marathon. Relatively fresh following the sedate progress around the Fleet Half Marathon in March, I assumed that Brighton's challenge would merely involve twice the time, and a little more discomfort. I lined up with about 8 000 other people and two Penguins in a park, 'warmed up' rather disinterestedly, and after a degree of waiting around, we were off on the first of approximately 45,000 paces. I was nursing a slightly injured right calf, and everything went swimmingly for the first 80 metres or so, until I twisted my left foot on some uneven paving. This removed my concern about my calf as, in true Maslowian fashion, my left foot called more loudly for my attention for the remainder of the event.
I appeared to be surrounded by a mixture of superheroes, and other assorted cartoon characters, for much of the race. Superman, needless to say, was well out in front, and a very athletic Wonder Woman also flashed past in a blur. I successfully tracked Batman and the Pink Panther for several miles before the former accelerated onto Gotham to find Robin, and the latter fell back in a languid fashion, as was his wont. I later caught up with Picachu and engaged in Pokémon banter until the next refreshment stop, where he took umbrage when the water lady addressed him as 'Banana'. Places kept swapping during the succeeding myriad paces, with at one stage the synergistic pairing of Giraffe woman and Rhino man threatening to steal a march. Whoopee Cushion was continually at an aerodynamic disadvantage and understandably struggled with the wind, and Peppa Pig squealed loudly, but was never really in the running.
Mile after mile passed like a slow motion film, with the opportunity to see many of the scenic areas of Brighton. This included an interesting 1/2 hour run around the power station. The crowds laughed and cheered, bands played and the sun shone. Eventually, with the finishing line in site we reached the final refreshment stop. We imbibed water, Gatorade and a mysterious gel which I can only surmise was a cartoon pick-me-up as, shortly afterwards, an apparently rejuvenated Scooby Doo sprinted past me to the finish.
Nick Kemp and Rauri completed the race in very creditable times of 3 hours 40 mins and 3 hours 49 mins respectively. I took somewhat longer, but did have the satisfaction of finally catching Picachu/Banana in the home straight. I relearned the lessons from my previous marathon experience, namely:
For those who have not run a marathon there are several things to bear in mind:
It is a long way;
It takes a long time;
It is a good idea to listen to, and act upon, sage advice regarding anti chafing measures;
It is a good idea to have done some training prior to the marathon itself;
7 months of concentrated carbo-loading may be more than is required.
Many thanks go to Huw and Gaynor for their hospitality and to Tony and family, and Charlotte, for their support. I am pleased to announce that Paul Johnston has agreed to take on the organisation of the Team Penguin runners in 2016, aiming to compete in both the Fleet Half Marathon (20 Mar 16) and the London Marathon (Apr 16 exact date TBC)
Over £5000 (including Gift Aid) has now been raised by Team Penguin runners this year.
The donation site remains open at: https://www.justgiving.com/PenguinsAgainstCancer
Nick Kemp after the event, fresh as a daisy and allowing the air to circulate.