Well, that's it for another year, I can't believe it's all over. Look at me there just before Braddan Bridge, don't I look fresh !
Much to my disgust, I didn't manage to get round but it wasn't for the lack of effort. My big toenail became loose just before Peel and from there onwards it was a constant struggle with my feet. I had 2 large blisters on each heel by Jurby and another 3 nails had become loose and blistered by Bride. Then my right knee buckled under me at Andreas and it was a miracle I managed to limp to Lezayre where I cried enough. I was going well up to Bride( was in 26th place overall) and was on for roughly an 18.5 hour finish had the wheels not come off . I literally could not put one foot in front of the other and ended up in A & E at the end of the night. Never mind, I have 12 months to put things right !
I really enjoyed the day out and the atmosphere throughout the race was sensational - it really spurs you on when people are shouting for you. Personal highlights for me were :-
1/The Sloc - I did quite a bit of training up there and it paid off. I waltzed up there and must have overtaken 10 people.It is, without doubt, my favourite section of the course
2/Walking with Roey Crellin - I was with her when things were starting to go pear shaped around Jurby/ Bride and what a friendly and positive lady she is.
3/ My sodium blood level was taken in hospital and it was normal so I got the logistics right, despite struggling to eat.
Things not so good were :-
1/ My feet obviously. I got something drastically wrong - whether it was my shoes, socks or virgin feet I don't know but I have to address this.
2/ The drag from Jurby to Bride - it was endless ! It measures the distance at 7.5 miles in the route but it felt double that in the rain
3/ The path up to Andreas Church was horrible. In my Saucony shoes, which are quite light, I could feel every blister and toenail screaming on the uneven surface.
I would also thank to thank a few people in passing, if you will forgive me, hope this doesn't sound like an Oscar speech! Firstly to my wife Kerry who supported me from Arbory onwards accompanied by my mum and my kids. She did a sensational job for a first timer( also to my father in law Dave who, blisters and all after his walk to Peel, drove out and took the kids home). Secondly, to George Blair's bride-to-be Theresa who helped us both though the bad times with words of advice and gee-ups from Peel onwards. And lastly to Dick Haddock and previous finisher Dave Hall who I both knew from my football days at Onchan. Thanks a lot lads for the encouragement from Sulby onwards, sorry it was to no avail.
Personal congratulations to Mike George, for a great walk in third place with better to come in the future(maybe I can sponsor you for next year's race Mike with Ascot Hotel on the front of your shirt ?) and fellow blogger Mark Hempsall who walked the race he intended to the letter.Sorry for missing any other's out, I am new to this game and probably don't know you well enough! Also apologies to Mark, Steve and Matt for letting the team down, I was the sole non-finisher !
I have learned so much from this year's race and intend to come back fitter and stronger next year.It has been an amazing experience as a first timer so roll on 2008...only 362 days to go !