Grantham Running Club’s Gav Meadows completed his first marathon on Sunday – the Robin Hood Marathon in Nottingham.
Gav, 34, only started competing in races in December last year. However, he has been running fairly consistently since he began training for his four year stint in the Army at 18 years of age.
He has put in a lot of hard training since committing to this race in March, clocking up a total of 525 miles. This included several preparation races and events, both locally and in the challenging hills of the Peak District. He also cross-trains by swimming once a week and lifting weights regularly at the gym.
He completed the 26.2 mile course in 3hr 23min 4sec, finishing 139th in a field of 1,238 competitors.
Gav said: “Considering that this was my first marathon, I’m very happy with my performance overall. I wanted to finish quicker than 3:30 and managed to achieve that goal. However, this was definitely a learning experience. I made some mistakes and I will be making some changes for my next marathon.
“For the first 18 miles I felt like I was running at a comfortable pace that I would be able to maintain for the whole race. I was averaging about 7:15 per mile. Then, at mile 19, fatigue hit me like a punch in the face. It was so unexpected. The last eight miles were incredibly tough and my pace dropped right off. Although I did manage to pick it up again for the last mile. I need to learn to curb my racing instincts and pay more attention to my watch.
“I will also be making some significant changes to my training next time around. My longest training run was 20 miles and, in hindsight, that’s definitely not enough. In future, I will be training up to 23 miles.”
On completing Sunday’s race, Gav made the decision to commit to a spring marathon in 2016 and he also intends to complete one later in the year. He has already entered the Barcelona Marathon in March and plans to travel around Europe and the rest of the world incorporating marathons into his holidays.
He said “Now that I have this unquenchable thirst for competing in races and events, I can’t think of a better way to travel and see the world. After all, most major cities have a marathon so I can pick and choose my destinations. I just wish that I’d decided to do this 10 years ago.”
Gav ran Sunday’s race for Dementia UK and you can still sponsor him at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/gavsmarathon
So far he’s raised over £200 and is hoping to clear £300 in the next few weeks.