Oompa Loompa Runs 42KM
Sunday's Brighton Marathon is the first race I've run under the banner of Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and felt very proud to do so. Late to the exhibition centre saw me marshalled into the sub 3:30 class. I would have to run a marathon personal best, dressed as an Oompa Loompa.
After Miriam applied a healthy daubing of orange body paint I gathered my things to walk (on my own) from our apartment to Preston Park where the race would begin (about 4km). I love a good dress up but when you're getting lost in convincing costume, you can draw unnecessary attention to yourself. Not as much as when you're dressed as Wonder Woman I might add.
The race began at 9.15am sharp after some forced pre-race dancing, the streets were filled with people, weaving our way out and back the race route was pretty easy, no climbs just flat running, I covered the first 10km in 55 minutes, never one to measure my times closely I did know this was too fast for me but didn't feel like easing up until we hit the sea front.
The route then headed east out of Brighton to Ovingdean and quite a steady climb but bearable until I realised my nipples needed greasing. So happy to leave the apartment dressed as an orange midget I'd forgotton my essentials, ibroprofen, compeeds and vaseline. There's a joke in there but seen as it's a family show I'll leave it to you, the educated reader to figure it out. Thankfully a St John's Ambulance officer was helpful on the switchback into Brighton and covered my chest in the stuff.
Now I began to feel it around the halfway point, the biggest crowds were greeting runners lined up on both sides of the street, waving to the crowds I felt like an orange pope. An orange pope with chaffing nipples. The route then took a back seat into more suburban Brighton around 25km to be laughed at by hipsters for another 6-7km. Marathon's are a test of patience, trying not to overthink, become over anxious or get upset you're not 'making time'. Biting your toungue wasn't on the list until Sunday.
Back onto the sea front we headed west along to the port and power station, I was beginning to slow up and hurt, the course doubled back on itself again to head back to the pier around 35km, home straight. The course then jumped up onto the promenade adjacent to the pebbled beach. Shouts from so many people, this is where you know you'll make the finish. The course finished on the spectacular West Pier Arches, medal, t-shirt and unchewable cereal bars in a time of 3:46. I was met by Miriam and her cousin Sophie and the easy 5km back up the hill to the apartment.
I'd recommend this marathon purely on the crowds, the people of Brighton were briliant, volunteers, bands, dancers and the group of children who followed me around the course. Thank you, I'm sure I'll be back for 2017, the year of The Longest Try.