Well here we are the final blog, on what has been a emotional and bloody brilliant journey… Day 10, what you are told is the victory lap around the lake… run 9 they say then the 10th is just a bit of a laugh…..all 26.2 miles…
The day started with physio, putting the magic back in the muscles and more rock tape over my calf, knee and hip to keep me intact… then off to the athlete’s room for the last time. It was a weird feeling as the mood was focused, but full of nervous excitement… so near and yet so far away from our goal. I had the chance to say hello to David and Alice who were now up to support and tears flowed at the emotion of it all.
I was asked by Aly to lead the team out for the final parade in front of all of the one day marathoners who come to run the last day with us, and say a few words. I talked about our magnificent journey, the three people we had lost from our bubble on the way, the magic of the lake and how we couldn’t wait for them to join us to help raise more money for the magnificent Brathay Trust.
And with that we were off … the 10 in 10ers get to leave 1 hour early ahead of the main race, so from the go it feels like the hounds chasing the hares…. Can you get round the lake before the quality runners at the front of the field catch you. Ironically it was the quietest 1st half marathon of the week and I quickly was on my own as the field stretched out. I ignored my watch and ran as I felt, trying to enjoy the last run. Waved my last goodbye to the pigs, with Precilla standing to attention and moved on. I passed Trudi at 10 miles ( as she had set –off earlier to help her be at the victory parade) we had a kiss as she has been the best roomie I could have wished for. Supporting each other through the highs and lows of the 10 days. A friend for life …. J
At Newby Bridge the turning point on the lake, I was overjoyed to see David’s and my good mates Baz and Yvonne Chapman, who had weathered the rain to come over on their motorbike to see me ( a total honour to think they had travelled from the NE that day to see me ). We exchanged a few words and I carried on, they were then there in Bowness, the crowds cheered me on, and they then passed me again at 21 miles…. Up ice-cream mountain for the last time and then through the last 4 miles, with a very emotional last 1.5 through Ambleside, the support was breath-taking, every biker, every car, every walker shouting well done, keep going, your brilliant…. Up the last mile to the drive the bloody uphill drive for the last 0.2 miles of the 262 mile journey…. Compose yourself Cloughie and enjoy the moment…..i ran down the finishing mat, dibbed my timer for the last time and fell into the arms of David and Alice… Smiles, celebrations all round and the job was done.
Over the last 10 days I have ran 262 miles, around 460,000 steps and can’t think how many calories burned. I have made friends for life, made 6K for a wonderful cause (as a group we will touch 100K) and ran all the 10 marathons within 9 mins of each other… Day 1 4.00, Day 2 4.06 Day 3 3.58, Day 4 3.57, Day 5 4.02, Day 6 4.03, Day 7 4.05, Day 8, 4.06, Day 9 4.02 and Day 10 3.58. Total time 40.23.31, 1st lady and I think I have a new record for the F40 group. However none of that really matters at all, the power of the team event, is seeing us all achieve our goal, and watching my good mate Trudie cross the line yesterday who had one ever ran one marathon, was the true inspiration and hero of the 2017 class of Brathay.
As per my line in our opening words…. Take every chance you get in life because somethings only happen once.
Thank you all for your support and the money you have raised really will make a difference to the lives of so many kids…….. now where is that hot bath and the wine J