Where to start? 4am the time I woke up? 5.30am the time I had to get out of bed!
Yes it was an early start the family wanted to come down and support me so I tried to get everything prepared the night before and planned to leave the house at 6.30am, but told them we needed to leave at 6.15am! To my amazement, we actually left at 6.15am. It take's about 1hr 30minutes drive down to Eastbourne so we got there with a good time and could see plenty of runners milling about already.
I went and got my number and timing cheap and by the time I had put my tag on and pinned my number to my shirt, my friend and fellow runner turned up (we where drinking buddies before we found this exercise lark!)
The family went and found a position to cheer us on, while James and I found the cafeteria area which not only had small toilet queue also was nice and warm.
Bag drop was easy and to the start line. This is where met up with the rest of the runners we knew one who was going to go for it so we said our good bye and good lucks he moved up to the runner section (we stayed in the joggers section)
The atmosphere felt great with the experienced runners laughing at us newbies, I still felt pretty confident. Knowing I was going to more or less power walk up the hills and run down the hills and along the flats (there was none).
So countdown was begun and we were off moving forward to the start line and the steep first hill that awaited us. As we crossed the line we didn't even start running as up the hill we went. This must be the slowest start to any race anywhere!
As James and I started to climb and climb and climb the wind picked up but the sky's where blue and the sun was shinning could not ask for better weather. The scenery was stunning all around the course, and no photo would do it justice.
The water/food stations where enough not as plentiful as road race but this was all off road, and there was plenty of marshall's all along the course always offering a cheer and a great encouragement. The water stations had plenty of water (in cups) and mini mars bars.
The ground was pretty good especially after alot of rain the week before, with a few muddy parts but I think my new hybrid's where the correct choice.
At about half way I did start to feel my legs getting more tired but with walking up the hills they were getting rest.
We kept hearing that the first half was the easy bit it's the second half that's hard. Now we had been up so pretty big steep hills and knowing the rest of the course iI failed to believe them as I could see we were not far off Cuckmere haven which is pretty flat and then it's just along the seven sisters and they are not so high!
At I think the 17 mile mark was the big food station, it had a band, Mars bars, differently flavored squash, sausage rolls, hot cross buns, some sort of cake (it didn't taste of anything to me) James and I fueled and spoke to other runs who explained the steps are not so far and then its the seven sisters.
So off we went and it was just 19 mile mark my race was had issues -
It was a short sharp downhill run which I was galloping down and then all of a sudden my left knee let out a big oh no you don't. I slowed and told James to carry on as my knee has gone and I will stretch it out at the bottom we wished our good lucks and off he went. At the bottom of the hill was the first set of steps, i did a few stretches and pulls and felt a lot better. I climbed the steps and felt ok, at the top i carried on running a bit a lot slower pace as I could feel it still wasn't right but figured I could carry on. The second hard set of steps was fine and in fact, I thought they would be a lot harder than they were.
But it was any kind of downhill that my knee hated really really hated and had to walk down any downhill at really gently.
So the seven sisters, yea they are not very high but blimey they are steep going up and down! As I was climbing one I remembered the photo I posted on this forum wishing everyone a good luck, it was like that but more grass! These were hard hills and for me even harder downhills i was overtaking people on the uphill but they would fly past me on the downhill.
For those last 10km's I was determined to finish, and I did but it was not a pretty site. as i walked across the line, I accepted my medal and felt very emotional more then when I completed my first marathon.
My friend James finished in 5hrs 19minutes although I wouldn't have kept up with him in the final stages I am sure that I could have got in between 5hrs 30-40minutes if my knee hadn't gone. But I finally hobbled across the line in 6hrs 16minutes.
I was asked would I do it again I said no way am I doing that again, I don't want to do any marathon's again. (she pointed out I am signed up for Brighton next year)
Then today is a new day and I saw they posted about early bird entries........well I do feel like I have unfinished business.
To sum up beachy head marathon it's brutal very brutal, if the weather was raining then can imagine this would be even harder. But then for me, the sun was shining and the scenery was breathtaking. I would recommend this (if it's a nice sunny day)