Paul Courtney’s 7 year old son has type 1 diabetes. Paul ran this year’s London Marathon in aid of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Here, in Paul’s own words, are the full details of his big day.
London Marathon April 25th 2010
Right then what’s the best way to lose 3444 calories in one day.......(data taken from running watch) Think of all that chocolate / beer that makes 3444.....wow...but how?..well.... first........
Get up 4:45am 25/04/2010 coach leaves Bicester at 6am. My family are determined to see me this year after missing me running last year even with a pink wig. My mother-in-law came down for this one, as well as my mum, wife and 2 boys (3 and 7 years old)....might stand a chance with all those pairs of eyes....and I have also got a larger multi-coloured wig for this year.
I completed the Runners World training schedule this year. Helped by Paul (AKA Chip) we trained at a 9min/mile pace. We completed our 20+ mile training runs in 3 to 3.07 hrs depending upon the amount of rain! Running with someone else made it so much easier.
The coach takes you literally to the Marathon Start line at Greenwich, where you can see huge hot air balloons and dozens of other coaches dropping off runners and families, imagine thousands of people carrying red plastic bags with changes of clothing all heading toward the Green and Blue starting areas. Weather is fine at this stage, overcast.
I’m raising money this year for 2 charites, my son has type 1 diabetes so it is close to my heart, and having lots of work collegues that are ex-army sorted out a 2nd one.
I was sporting a “Team Pingu” children’s diabetes vest and my wig: as soon as we walked into the Blue starting field I saw a huge image of myself being displayed on the outdoor screen…hahahah then the camera panned round and others were being picked out and shown.
We saw the start of the women’s race and wheelchair event on the screen then I dropped off the after race bag with the lorries and headed off to Pen 7 to await the start. Hmmmm spitting with rain now….maybe I should have worn that bin liner I’d left in the bag… now on the lorry…..hmm 9:20 it’s sheeting it down with rain….still everyone’s in the same boat….and Captain Jack Sparrow standing near me is looking very wet indeed. Saw a few other JDRF runners so had a quick chat to them, about who and why they where running for the charity which was nice, and made me really feel part of the team.
09:45 here we go…. didn’t hear the gun go off, just noticed everyone shuffling forwards, 7mins later I start the first Virgin London Marathon….then 0.5miles later walking again due to amount of people and narrow roads……
At mile 13 you’re on a dual carriageway with the fast runners coming down the other side of the road, wow…but also knocks your confidence a bit, but at least there weren’t thousands of them at that stage. I ran over to the left side of the road here as I knew the JDRF had a cheering point at mile 22.5 and would be able to spot me across the road. They did, and their shouting and cheering could be heard which gave me a big kick…
Then back down towards Shadwell and the dual carriageway again to the JDRF cheering point. This time saw my family, saw a quick glance of them earlier in the race but now saw them properly, my oldest sporting a matching wig to mine..hahaha and rest of the family waving…..hurray after not seeing them last year it was great plus the noise and support from the charity stand was superb…
Waving for the camera as I got near the line took my last reserves of energy then stopped and staggered towards to timing chip removal queue, my legs were shot, I was wobbling all over the place, and had to have a couple of minutes holding onto a barrier before getting my finishers medal I’d done it….
Running in the winter through snow and ice, the rain last month I’d made it, that’s 2 London marathons in 2 years. Finish time….nothing that would impress your average runner but to me… 04:17:45 in 15470th position out of 36,984 and beating last years time by 20mins was great.
One quote I saw this year…… “the blisters last a week the memories last forever”
So there we go, the story of a very average runner and his quest to burn 3444 calories in one day before hitting his 40th Birthday……
You also have to thank wives and partners when you take on a marathon, all those Saturday/Sunday morning long runs and coming back after 20 miles then trying to explain to young children that yes you’ll take them to the park to play football but you have to also point out that running for the ball might be an issue for you….
If you have participated in a charity event in aid of diabetes research, please do contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to share your story with other members of the Bayerdiabetes.co.uk website.
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