Here is my quick and brutely honest report of the race !
Basically, I was rough on the day (couldn't go to the loo if you want me to be truthful) had all sorts of stomach problems and walked to the start in real trouble. Decided that, because it was so hot 28 degrees, I should either pull out or just run round. Discussed it with one guy there who happened to be one of the organisers of New York. He said to take it easy and go to New York in November where he would be willing to pay expenses and put me on the Elite start - so I am going to do that, along with Liz Yelling (who didn't finish).
The weather was baking hot at 08.30 and I walked to the start feeling like I had got a helium balloon stuck inside my stomach. Basically, I had the shits but they wouldn't come out. I was just scarred they might want to 'leave the building' on the way round.
Took it really, really steady in view of this and the heat. Got round really fresh in under 3 and am really excited about the prospect of New York. Don't feel tired or aching or anything. 17th isn't that bad and I honestly don't think I could have run a personal best (PB) in that heat even if I hadn't had the stomach problem. What I didn't want to do is push really hard for an extra few minutes, go through all sorts of bad patches and then just die at the end. To finish fresh is really great. I can tell you I overtook some folk at the end - including 6 elite ladies. I couldn't believe the way they just died in the last couple of kilometres.
We went on a bus tour of Berlin on Monday and a woman journalist asked for my details to contact me when I got home. Runners World are coming out at the end of the week to do an interview and photos and when I was at the airport one of the elite men came over to me and asked if I ran in the Marathon because he thought her recognised me passing him under the Brandenburg Gate. He said I was going like a train and looked so strong. But, to be honest, I felt really easy the whole way round. I couldn't accelerate because it brought on the stomach cramp but taking it easy was well, easy. I actually enjoyed it, heat and all, from 20 mile. Just feeling fresh and strong and taking in the cheering crowds as I overtook people rather than they overtaking me.
The way I look at it, I couldn't have done much better if I had felt well, so to come out of it in the top 20, with a good sub 3 in the most terrible weather conditions (it wasn't just really hot it was windy too) and feeling really fresh and ready to roll for New York - I am actually very happy. It wasn't a PB. day. I know New York won't be either, but one thing I did prove to myself is that I am really tough and can handle 26.2 miles in the best company in the world and come out in the top 20 whilst feeling very rough.
By the way, whilst I was in the Elite enclosure warming up Haile Gebreselassie (the race winner!) asked my Mum if she would mind taking his kit bag to the finish for him. We have photos to prove this! and these will be published as soon as we get a chance to do so. He had apparently overheard one of the organisers offering to drive my Mum into the press area with my bag as she didn't have her pass. That is when Haile pounced as he was there alone. I was going to say 'no, go away you amateur' but decided against this course of action! eheh