Dylan Clive and Patrick Appleton
It is with great pride and huge relief that I finished the Barcelona Marathon. I will never do it again.
In terms of a racing strategy I can confidently say that you could take a video of my run, show it to future marathon athletes and warn them not to repeat anything that I did...except for finishing that is.
Any game plan went out the window from the off - people always tell you to run your own race, do not make any last minute changes and leave nothing to chance. For some reason I therefore took the decision to try and keep up with elite athletes for the first 10km, try out some new, never-before-tested running socks and run without my asthma inhaler. The end result was nothing short of horrific. But I did finish.
With hindsight, I can see that mistake number one came from being under the impression that my (attempted) running mate Paddy was not a marathon machine determined on setting a serious time. I was wrong. In the spirit of charity and with no experience of long-distance running, my aim was simply to finish and live to tell the tale. After practically sprinting the first quarter of the marathon, I realised that Paddy had a different agenda and his time of 3 hours 10 minutes is an unbelievable effort that deserves enormous praise.
My weak attempts to keep up subsequently left me on the brink of disability by the 20km mark. A short asthma attack at 25km was certainly not ideal and as I was laid up on the side of the road, I surprisingly rejected a request for an interview with a Spanish reporter. Luckily my heroic girlfriend saved the day, bringing me an inhaler that allowed me to get back on the road and it was then just a matter of counting down each kilometre before the finish.
The 'specially designed running socks' were in fact a breeding ground for blisters and alongside disintegrating muscles over the last 6 miles, I would have gladly ridden to the finish via a stolen segway, had it not been for the £1600 being raised for Marie Curie Cancer Care. A glimpse of the finish line would have brought tears but for dehydration issues and with just over four hours on the clock, my race was over.
Hobbling over the finish line, which Kenyan race winner Levi Omari Matebo had crossed more than 2 hours earlier than me, will be a moment I will remember for the rest of my life...depressingly, it will probably take a similar amount of time to recover from it.
Thank you so much for the incredible support and sponsorship that has been flooding in for the past few months. The optimistic target of £1500 has been smashed and with a few more weeks left to raise money, I would be so grateful for any final donations. We did it.