Conquering the Edinburgh Marathon | Derek, Irene and Freya

01 June 2018
  • Challenges

Conquering the Edinburgh Marathon | Derek, Irene and Freya

On Sunday 27th May, Teens Unite supporters Derek and Irene took on the Edinburgh Marathon and Edinburgh Half Marathon, alongside Freya who is one of the young people supported by Teens Unite. Here's an insight into their challenge: 

“We left our B&B at 06.45am on Sunday morning with a Haar fog rolling in and a chilly temperature of 9 degrees Celsius, to walk the uphill 1.5 miles to the start. Irene joined the 20,000 half marathon runners at the gold pen for the 08.00am gun start, taking 20 minutes to cross the start line, with Freya starting in the purple pen and taking 15 minutes to cross the start line. Irene kept up a good pace throughout the race, ensuring she had enough left in the tank for a sprint finish to cross the finish line in 2 hours 23 minutes. The course took her and Freya from Edinburgh city, along the coast through Leith and Musselburgh.

The temperature rose marginally for the marathon start for Derek at 10.00am at the Purple pen, again taking 20 minutes to cross the start line. Derek injured his back 10 days before the marathon, pulling a big muscle in his back. He had to stop training and received one lot of Physiotherapy to try to alleviate some of the problem. One week before the marathon, he ran 5 miles and couldn’t run any further because of the jarring and pain in his back. He purchased a physio back support and was on a hot/cold regime to try and alleviate the pain. Having not run for 9 days he didn’t know how his back would react to the pounding and if it would hold out. Many people told him not to take part and save himself from further damage.

Did he listen to all of the advice? Of course he didn’t! The pain in his back lasted from the first step over the start line to the last step over the finish line and on into the Red Cross tent for assistance, in 5 hours 18 minutes. By 18 miles the pain was too much and Derek had to resort to a regime of walking half a mile then shuffling a half a mile. At the 25 mile marker he decided that he would run the last 1 mile 365 yards and even managed a little sprint to the finish line. Derek’s God Daughter’s partner Ross ably assisted him around the course, and they crossed the finish line holding hands, finishing in the same time.

Of course Derek couldn’t miss the opportunity to dress up a little. Not only did the blue lycras make a return, as did the Pink Tu-Tu and a new wig, courtesy of Izzy. Throughout the race Derek was offered many dates and asked for his telephone number, autograph and selfies! Today Derek’s back is extremely sore and now it will be total rest for several days apart from the odd spell in the garden!!

Thank you to everyone who has sponsored us for Teens Unite charity; the total currently stands at £1130.”

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