I completed my seventh marathon in Chicago on Sunday, 13th October. Almost 45,000 runners, 20,000 volunteers and an estimated 1.7million supporters turned out along the course – equivalent to almost the entire population of Northern Ireland!
I struggled on the day and finished in a time of 4 hours, 43 minutes, 47 seconds – a little way behind the top female finisher, Brigid Kosgei from Kenya, who set a new women’s world record of 2 hours, 14 minutes, 4 seconds.
The previous women’s world record was set by the UK’s Paula Radcliffe at the 2003 London marathon, so had stood for over 16 years.
The day before Chicago, at a special staged event in Vienna, Eliud Kipchoge had broken the 2 hour mark for a marathon, running the 26.2 miles in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 40 seconds – an incredible pace of 4:34 minutes per mile! Although this doesn’t count as an official world record, it does show what is possible.
My plans are a little less ambitious, and involve a lot of cake and a few 10Ks over the winter, then hopefully Berlin marathon for next year!