My Marathons in a Nutshell – Michael Avery

Next up for the Marathon bites treatment is Michael Avery who is blitzing through marathons at a rate of knots in a wicked pair of shades. Thanks, Michael.

London 2013:
As magic as the occasion was, seriously took the distance for granted. Great race but blew up at the 19th mile and didn’t recover and start jogging again until mile 21. ‘Born to Run’ by Springsteen was blaring towards the end, but ‘Crawling’ by Linkin Park would have been more appropriate. Managed to scrape myself in just under 5 hours and a couple of months of physio followed.

Brighton 2014:
“Never again” I said after London, “ok one more” and signed up for Brighton 2014. Very cool day and a very slightly niggly right knee had me a bit worried, but I persevered and finished the race well, a wonderful atmosphere and a wonderful marathon weekend. A great race and the race that started my love of the Brighton marathon.

Brighton 2015:
Second time down on the south coast and my legs for once felt fresh as a daisy. Sub 4 was an achievable time for me and I made a friend at the start line who ran the majority of the race with me. The weather was hot and again so was the atmosphere, absolutely electric and the last 5K along the beach front was an experience that gives me goosebumps every year. A 3:40:11 finish and a few well earned beers before:…..

London 2015:
Watching London 2014 made me realise how much I wanted to do the race again and tackle some of those demons that shackled themselves to my ankles in 2013. I made sure my strategy was spot on, wouldn’t let the occasion get to me and once I got past Canary Wharf where I infamously fell apart two years before I knew I was going to finish this race well. ‘Don’t Stop me Now’ blared out of the speakers that year and nothing could stop me.

Brighton 2016:
Hat trick of races down in Sussex and a race where I thought I’d try and crack 3:30:00 for the first time. The race started well but unlike the previous two marathons where I’d ran with a new friend, this year I felt very alone. It was still a fantastic day and race but this was the hardest and toughest marathon I ran. Somehow mustered a sprint finish which felt like my heart was going to pop out of my chest but the cuddle from Jenny Falconer made it all worth it!

Dublin 2016:
“Right Mrs A, for my 30th I want to run a marathon in another country!” Next thing you know flights, hotel and race entry in the Dublin marathon were secured. The whole weekend was indescribable and the crowd support from the Irish public made me fall in love with this wonderful city and it’s folk. ‘Where the streets have no name’ was this years theme and they were right, I didn’t have a bloody clue what any of them were called. My love of the Irish started here, as well as my love of Guinness….

Brighton 2017:
The race that courted a lot of controversy for those taking part. Lack of water, a scorching hot day, very little sea breeze and shade made this a tough one. Luckily for me, I didn’t experience too much of this and had the absolute legend of pacing, Paul Addicott, running with me to help me get under 3:20:00. Alas, this year I didn’t manage it but the experience and running with Paul was something I still tell people about and without doubt one of the best marathons I’ve done. Oh and nothing gets the adrenaline pumping more than ‘Sweet Caroline’……

Milton Keynes 2017:
A race of two halves this one: half roundabouts, half underpasses! A nice race and surprisingly scenic in some parts but there probably is a bet between the organisers to see how many roundabouts they can squeeze into one race. The stadium finish was exceptional and somehow I managed to punch the air as I finished, also the first time I met a few of the famous ukrunchat army. Tough race and had to dig deep but one I will do again for sure.

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