Stadium Blog

I'm a Marathon Addict

When Laurel asked me to talk about a subject of my own choice [at the Stadium Runners Awards Night], there was only one obvious choice to me......Marathons! Now I like running any distance but I absolutely love running marathons especially ones that have a nice shiny medal at the end. It's safe to say you could call me a marathon addict.

Steve finishes a mere 10 mile race

If I think back to when I was growing up, I think that I've always had a soft spot for the marathon, I can always remember being glued to the television on London Marathon Sunday. Not that it ever motivated me to run much in my youth.

In fact it wasn't until early 2008 that I started running properly and entered a few local 10ks races, a half marathon followed shortly after and then my fourth race I ran the Nottingham Marathon. It kicked my arse and I finished in just under five hours! Looking back now I was completely undertrained, but my overriding memory from that day was how I felt when the finish line was in sight. It was the most amazing feeling that I've ever felt (apart from getting married and the birth of my child) and I was desperate to experience it again.

My second marathon was Windermere in 2009 and this was where I first became aware of people running the course 10 days in a row. I couldn't quite believe how they could physically and mentally manage it or how fast they ran them all. The 10in10 winners average marathon time was 3:15, amazing! I finished in 4 and 1/2 hours. I managed to get a new pb and the same amazing buzz at the finish.

In 2010 I finally broke the 4 hour mark at Blackpool marathon on a flat but dull course. The lowlight being heckled by stag do's and hen parties. I also completed Windermere again that same year and went back again in 2011. You might have guessed by now that I quite like that one.

2012 is where my addiction firmly took hold, after completing my first ultra marathon in Connemara in Ireland. I was in need of a new challenge and found it in a drunken bet with a friend. He challenged me to run a marathon a month for the next 12 months, I accepted his challenge and ran them to raise funds and awareness for the BHF. To be honest I didn't think it was much of a challenge at the time. However what I didn't factor in was illness and injury over the year. Of the 12 marathons I completed, four of them were ran either Sick or injured. A particular low point was half way through the Liverbird Marathon Day 2 on New Years Day 2013, I was full of cold and having run a marathon the day before I could quite easily have not finished. The dominos pizza for tea didn't help either. In the main I have blanked those feelings out of my mind as they were truly horrific. But they played their part in the amazing feeling I had crossing through Brandenburg gate in Berlin finishing my 12 marathon challenge with a pb.

After running 12 in 12 you would've thought I'd have taken a bit of time off but I snook a couple of extra in that year running the inaugural Yorkshire marathon and also a little known marathon in Bolton call the Hell of a hill marathon. This consisted of running 8 laps of rivington pike, the winner finished in over 4 hours so I'm not telling you how long it took me but it was a good days work!

Then in 2014 I finally plucked up the courage to join stadium runners and in terms of marathon times the improvement has been amazing. Last year I broke my pb at both at Manchester and York knocking a cool 16 minutes off, running under 4 hours for 3 of the 4 marathons I ran during the year something I had struggled to do before on a regular basis.

This gave me the confidence to have a real go at a spring marathon in 2015, which I did at Manchester smashing 26 minutes off my pb finishing in 3:09 and running faster than I ever thought possible. It's amazing what not drinking alcohol can do for your performances ( sorry Rob!).

In case you weren't aware my aim is to run a 100 marathons before I Die and also not die doing them! This means I have to run at least 5 a year, so since Manchester I've also run the Halifax marathon and today & yesterday I've run the kirkstall abbey trail marathons in Leeds bringing my total to date to 30. The big goal for next year is to try and get a GFA place at Boston, missing out by 2 minutes this year has certainly giving me the motivation I need to reach that goal!

Written by:Steven Taylor
On: 21st November 2015

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