The Ramathon is my favourite road race. I cannot put into words exactly how much I love this race. I had watched and waited for entries to open and booked within minutes of them opening, I have already booked for 2018.
The night before the Ramathon I had returned from holiday in Spain. Landing at Liverpool airport, driving home to Yorkshire, grabbing running clothes and driving to Derby. I stood in my hotel room and looked out watching the sunset. Nervous for the race ahead. My ankle hurting and as I lay in bed watching YouTube videos on how to strap up my foot I did wonder if I had made the right choice. Had it not been my favourite race I think I would not have turned up.
I met up with one of my good friends, who I met the first time I ran the Ramathon in 2015. We were in the same start pen, chatting nervously waiting for the gun to go. The route had changed slightly from 2015, winding up and away from the iPro Stadium and into the streets of the city centre.
It was lovely running through the city centre, crowds of people waving and cheering. They pushed you on and before I knew it I was heading back out of the city and to the country park. The country park is such a contrast to the city. Trees, grass and a cricket pitch to run around. You don't notice the distance and instead take in the variety of the surroundings. I stopped to use the country parks facilities at mile 8 and then continued on towards the canal.
The final three miles follow the canal path. These three miles are so beautiful but also seem the longest. I started to really feel it with the final 2 miles but pushed onwards. You begin to hear in the distance the crowd cheering and over the horizon the stadium comes back into review. This acts as such a huge boost and I really pushed for the last mile.
The final finish is to run around the stadium. This final stretch is packed with crowds and it gives an enormous boost when you really need it. My ankle had held up until 10 miles and by this point I was in a lot of pain. I pushed it as hard as I could, in pain and limping slightly but I managed to finish with a personal best, 2hrs 20mins. I had taken 17 minutes off my half marathon time and was incredibly happy.
I was absolutely buzzing! I even bumped into Jake and got to have a great chat with him on the finish line. We had chatted whilst running and it was certainly the best way to cool down and a real highlight for me. I cannot wait to do the Ramathon again in 2018!