Belle Vue Marathon Legend, Andy Wood, treats marathons like some of us approach running for the bus. Here is his take on his marathon 2016:
January: New Year’s Day, good start to the year, a mentally testing four-times out-and-back course on windy Liverpool front.
February: Lovely undulating trail marathon at a chilly Bolton Abbey.
April: Joined by fellow Belle Vue Racers for Manchester Marathon, sub-4 hour and 9 seconds quicker than last year’s ‘short course’. Shortly followed by a nice 3-lap course in the grounds of Temple Newsam.
May: Out and back on the Tissington trail in a rainy Matlock.
June.Warm day for a very hilly 2-lap course in the shadows of the M62 in Huddersfield.
July: 6 laps around Gin Pit and Leigh, persuaded myself if I got around 5 laps I could walk the last, then talked myself into it only being 4 and a bit miles, so I might as well run the last lap – runners’ psychology ! Followed by a flat one, out and back on the Leeds/Liverpool Canal. Finishing with the toughest of the year, in fact the toughest I’ve ever done: 20 miles of pleasant undulating trails around Snowdon, followed by a very slow – at times on all fours – climb to the misty summit, sliding six and a half hours later into Llanberis for numerous cups of tea!
August: Probably my favourite of the year, a very scenic trail marathon a round Hoad Hill in Ulverston. Also joined the remarkable Ben Smith and others on the 401 Challenge for a social marathon from Bramhall to Macclesfield and back, with various stops for butties and chips!
September: Back to the Leeds/Liverpool Canal for a flat one.
October: Overtaken on the racecourse by flying Belle Vue Racer Vic Walsh, then enjoyed the conditions and the help of a pacer to record a rare sub-4 at Chester. Later in the month was joined by Annie, Leah, Lisa and Patrick for old favourite, Snowdon Marathon. Cramp withstanding, all ran well and finished – pain is only temporary, pride is forever.