Where was your first marathon?
My first marathon was New York in 2007. Training had gone well, and I was targeting a time of 2:45 to gain a pass into the British Championships at the following year's London Marathon. That didn't quite work out as I suffered severe cramps in the last few miles and missed the target by a couple of minutes. Salt tabs and electrolyte drinks didn't really exist in those days, and I have since learned how to use salts to my advantage in races of marathon and longer. During one cramping session in Central Park, where the race ends, I had stopped to stretch out and was almost knocked over by a film crew on a motorbike who were following Lance Armstrong. Lance finished about 20 seconds ahead of me that day! Nutrition was simple in those days; I used the runner stations throughout the race which stocked Gatorade. It was a very simple time.
Where was your last marathon?
My last marathon was Strathearn Marathon here in the beautiful Perthshire countryside. This race was part of my build up to the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km race, which was last weekend. Training had been a little hampered going into the marathon as I'd had my first COVID vaccine only a couple of weeks beforehand and I felt ill for a good 3 -4-week post vaccine. I ran conservatively on this tough marathon course and came home in 4th place in a time of 2:43. Nutrition was great, Active Root drinks and Gel mix was what I opted for that day, and I aimed to drink/eat every 15 minutes or so as I wanted to practice nutrition for the ACP.
What would be your main marathon tip for a first timer?
Main tip from me is to eat early and maintain that flow of carbs into the body. Don't overdo the carbs but start early!
Where is your dream marathon?
New York again, I would love to go back in really good marathon shape, the atmosphere is electric, it feels like the whole city comes out to support it and the New Yorkers are super hosts.