Malta Marathon 2017
A couple of years ago I decided not to run any more marathons. Last year I missed it! So I booked on to the Malta Marathon as it fell on a weekend I was free. Last October I started on a low carbohydrate, high fat diet so I was unsure how this was going to go during a long distance run. My body was fat adapted as many of my long runs were fueled by some cheese or fasted altogether. But its always a bit of a risk!
For me, the flying to Malta was scarier than the marathon itself! I hate flying, but want to see new places so I won’t let my fear stop me from going places. I boarded the plane with me friend Nicola and after an hour delay sat on tarmac we were off. I managed without diazepam for the first time in years!
Once in sunny Malta it was time to relax, see the sights and pick up my number. We unfortunately got totally lost on the way back to our hotel so walked for about 2 hours longer than we needed to!
Pre marathon tea was a huge salad with mozzarella and a big glass of red.
Early night ready for the 4.50am wake up call! I ate my breakfast of coffee and 3 baby bells and headed down to the bus for 6am and was delivered to Mdina (the race start).
The race started at 07.30 and it was already starting to warm up! The first bit was downhill. There was a beautiful sunrise and the atmosphere was great. Only 1400 in the field so plenty of room to run. I checked my timings and mile 3 was 8 min mile. Better slow down a bit!
The first half of the race was in and out of little villages, round country lanes, industrial estates and round car parks (!). It felt a bit odd, running but not actually going anywhere! At 10 miles I was still feeling good and all my miles were between 8.20-8.40 pace. At half way we merged with the half marathon runners and it became tricky swerving and picking your way through runners who were moving slowly or walking (or randomly stopping). It was really hot at this point.
The second half felt like we were actually going somewhere as we headed to the coast towards Sleima. At 20 miles I was starting to tire. I then came across a poor man having CPR/chest compressions at the road side. It was distressing and I wanted to stop running. There were people helping and the marshal was waving people on so I carried on as the ambulance appeared. After that point I felt very tired and upset. My head and my pace dropped. There were a lot more people who were collapsing and taken away in ambulances.
After mile 22 I saw the sea and knew I was almost there. I was really tired at that point and needed some energy. I didn’t want to risk the sports drinks being given out so stuck to water. It felt really hot.
I ran along the sea front and saw the finish arch. Over the line in 3 hours 52 minutes. Not a PB but was very happy with the time. I finished 343/1400 and 7th in my age group.
I sat down on the floor (mistake!) and waited for my bag. I really hope the people who were taken ill made it home.