"He made it! Huge congratulations and a massive thank you to Paul from everyone at The Door for completing the 2019 London Marathon and not only for smashing your target time but also your fundraising target. Thank you!"- Anne Townsend Community Fundraiser
Here's Paul's own take on a mammoth day in London:
Marathon Training Stats: Days to go : 0! Days training : 127 Miles to date : 567 Miles this month : 132
What an amazing day, last night (the day before the marathon) I was very excited and also emotional thanks to all the donations, love and support I had received throughout the preparation process. As I sat and ate my (high carbs!) meal in the Premier Inn in Hayes I was inundated with Facebook messages, comments, texts and whatsapps, there were tears at the table.
I slept well and got across London in good time for the starting process. Fitting in my planned breakfast and hydration as TfL took care of business in terms of travel - amazing and incredible organisation. I was ready. The last 4 months training was done. I had slept and ate and prepped all I could. I had my race trainers on. I was ready!
I started in Red Zone, Gate 2, at 10:30 - here's my blow by blow:
So I started off needing a wee badly (all the excitement and waiting... even though I had already gone 30 mins before!) so I was super glad when in the 1st 5 minutes I saw people running into the hedge by the road to do the necessary. That was worth it. the one and only stop!
What an amazing atmosphere. The course was flanked both sides all the way through the 26.2 miles with cheering supporters, full of encouragement. There were bands, drums, all sorts - amazing.
The weather was perfect too; it was a good temperature and dry.
For the first 6 or so miles I just coasted, ensuring I didn't get carried away and run too fast. I was staying around 8:15 min miles - knowing I should be more like 8:30 but hoping to push it just a touch! It was great moving through and around all the runners. I was light on my feet and just taking it all in. So many people were calling my name ('Paul MATZ') thanks to it being emblazoned my bright orange 'door' vest!
Half way round and I was feeling good, coming over tower bridge at the 13 mile mark and I was still feeling great, still excited.
I had taken a bit of water and Lucozade.
Mile 14 took a gel (sugar!).
Mile 19 my legs started to not feel quite so light! I kept calm and kept pace, and took some more Lucozade and water and looked forward to the next gel...
Mile 20 I knew now that my legs were tiring. I was a little disappointed as I hadn't expected this, but in looking back I see that I should have taken more gels (for carb depletion) and I know that the adrenaline and excitement, and my slightly pacier than 8:30 had all played a part. Still - dig in, stay on track. I had been ahead of the 3:45 finish time pacers for the last 16 miles and was still on for 3:45 or better I thought.
Miles 21-25 got harder and my legs got heavier. The enjoyment and racy euphoria changed to hanging on and not slowing down, but I couldn't help it, I was slowing down.
Around 24 miles the 3:45 pacer caught me, and I pushed to stay on pace. by this time I had dropped to around 9:00 min miles, which was disappointing because I wanted to finish the last miles strong. When I pressed my legs to move faster, they threatened cramping - I thought I am not going to cramp and have to walk the last few miles - I'll stay running and take a 3 hour forty something time. It was fine. the crowd were super supportive and I made use of every shout, and some more water and Lucozade and gels.
The last mile I stepped the pace back up as I knew this was it. I had dropped mile 25 to a 10min mile, and so I knew I was in for a good time still. My last mile was 9 min so that was good.
It was amazing running the countdown down the Mall and then past Buckingham Palace to the finish!!
I crossed the finish line at 3:47:42. I'll take that. 1st Marathon. Lots of learning. Amazing.
The pain of the last 40 minutes disappeared into the joy of completing and i have to say the protein snack bar and water i found in the goody bag were SOOO good!
Thank you so much to everyone for all their support and for all your amazingly kind donations, I couldn't have done it without you!
Also a big thankyou to The Door for this amazing opportunity, I have enjoyed all the training and the race itself was a lifetime event! Absolutely fantastic!!! So glad to have also hit my target 🙂 "
The race might be over but there's still time to support Paul and raise money for The Door - visit thedoor.org.uk/paul and donate today - every penny raised will go straight towards supporting vulnerable young people and their families across the Stroud district.
Paul’s Marathon Challenge!