I've just completed my first marathon... and half the challenge is now done!
Crossing the finish line brought on feelings of both elation and a tremendous relief that it was over! It was certainly as tough as expected, but absolutely worth all the effort I put into it.
The first half of the race was mostly flat and relatively comfortable to run, but the second half began with an 8km uphill grind, then undulated a bit before descending back to the stadium finish/start line.
I ran 99% of the first 21km and then ran/walked the final 21km, which the majority of people around me also sensibly did. It was starting to get hot at this stage and faltering runners were picked up by the roaming ambulance with some regularity.
I'm happy enough with the time I got,
all things considered, and completed the marathon in an estimated time of around 5:22:55 based on what the Endomondo app tracked. Unfortunately, it looks like the chip on my race bib malfunctioned (based on the results that have provisionally come through online).
As best I can tell, I placed 341st, was the 287th male home, and placed 27th in my age group. It is unclear how many people started. The announcer stated 750, I had heard 500 from others, and looking online there were 433 starters, but... I wasn't able to find my result online, so wonder whether others whose chips also malfunctioned weren't shown as having started either.
I'm now at my new lodging and was just sitting out on the balcony (this accommodation is somewhat more salubrious) icing my calves in preparation for tomorrow's first day hike up Mr Kilimanjaro. It's just started to rain heavily and now there's thunder and lightning - the monsoon season has arrived!
I'm tired and sore (as you'd expect), but suspect I'll sleep well tonight with aircon, which I didn't have where I was staying during the lead up to the marathon.
There is a meeting at 6pm with the guides to discuss the trip ahead. Looks like I might need to enquire about an extra dry bag - just in case!