A fantastic weekend with the family in Liverpool and a personal best achieved in your third full marathon, couldn’t have asked for a better weekend really. And I had the weather on my side on race day.

The last time I visited Liverpool was back in 2000/2001 on a school trip when I was in primary school. I was so looking forward to going back to Merseyside for the marathon and I was not disappointed. I can honestly say Liverpool is a wonderful, vibrant city and I will be going back for sure.

A top weekend in a brilliant city and an enjoyable Liverpool Marathon.

The Marathon

(Video recorded day after the marathon – 29 May 2017) 

For some reason come race day, I was feeling a tad nervous. Even though it was my third full marathon, I was a bit more anxious compared to how I was feeling before my first and second marathons. Maybe it was because of what happened in Manchester last week.

Talking of which, a minute’s applause took place before the full marathon got underway on Sunday to remember the victims of the horrific Manchester terror attack. My thoughts and heartfelt feelings go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones in the attack and to everyone who was in Manchester on this tragic night.

Once I started running and began to get the miles under my belt, I felt more at ease and it was great talking to fellow runners not just about running but life in general. DSC_0091

I’m a massive football fan and people who know me will know I am a big West Bromwich Albion fan. As part of the course, I ran past Goodison Park and Anfield. I knew that both Everton and Liverpool’s stadiums are situated close to each other. But until I ran the course, I couldn’t believe the proximity of just how close both famous stadiums are to each other and literally all that divides them is Stanley Park.

Going past Chinatown, the Liver Building and into Penny Lane were just some of the other landmarks I came across on the marathon route. It was only until mile 19 when I first stopped and prior to then, I was going at a comfortable pace running each mile consistently between 9-10 minutes. Nothing spectacular but it was a pace I was happy with.

After mile 19, I had many stop and start situations where I began to ran and then had to walk. It was frustrating but I knew I was so close to completing the marathon and it wasn’t time to throw in the towel.

Being a quitter is not in my dictionary and thinking about why I was doing the marathon was helping me get through those final miles. And actually going into the final stretch of the marathon and out of nowhere, I was able to find a little oomph and gave it everything I had to get across that finishing line. I know this sounds cliché but the crowd definitely motivated/spurred me on to the finish.

The support we runners had from the crowds, who turned out in their thousands, was brilliant and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came out to will us on. The events throughout the weekend were very well organised and thank you to everyone who played their part in making the Rock’n’Roll weekend in Liverpool a one to remember. DSC_0117

It would have been nice to have finished closer to the 4hr 20min mark, but if you said at the start of the marathon you would beat your previous best by 1min and 40secs, I would have snatched your hand off. I can’t complain and finished the marathon in 4:25:49. A respectable time.

Weather-wise it was mild with plenty of light cloud. And just as I was about to reach the final stretch of the race, the sun began to break out to top the day off. A brilliant day and one that will live long in the memory.

Running for a top cause

After running the Rock’n’Roll Liverpool Marathon, I’m now 425.4 miles into my #1000milechallenge for Children in Need and running to help make a difference to improve the lives of young/disadvantaged children in the UK.

I’m taking on my 2017 #1000milechallenge to help inspire young children to never give up in life. Children may have a disability but that shouldn’t stop them from going onto succeed in life. No one should be afraid to follow their dreams. You can achieve anything if you work hard, think positive and believe in yourself.

DSC_0142Your donation can help change and improve the lives of young people and bring a smile to their face. For example a £2 donation can help an 11-year-old boy with autism develop his co-ordination and confidence at a trampoline session. A £10 donation can help a young child to take part in a speech therapy course where they can manage their stammering and grow in confidence when interacting with others.

Please donate generously even if it’s just a couple of pounds. Every penny and pound donated will go towards projects nationally to help children build better lives. It will also help children to achieve their potential and turn their dreams into reality. Please help make a difference. Thank you so much.

You can donate online by visiting my JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Manish-Patel1000.

You can also follow my progress during my #1000milechallenge by visiting my JustGiving, Twitter (@Baggies20) and Instagram (manishpatel89) pages.

Thank you so much.