This was the second marathon within the week. After driving around Ireland for 5 days, we took the plane from Belfast to London Stansted. During the stay in London, we met up with Tata Mamu & Kiren/Shafiq as well as visited Cambridge. On race day, we drove to Halstead, about half an hour drive from Stansted. The race was a much smaller affair than Belfast but was in a picturesque town in county Essex. The race started at 10am on a hot sunny day. My legs were already sore after the Belfast marathon and all the hiking we did in Ireland. To make things worse, the first km or 2 were all uphill. Luckily I started chatting with a couple of runners and they assured me that the rest of the race is pretty much flat with a few rolling hills. The scenery was amazing, running thru the rural roads with farms on either side.
The support was minimal on the course and very few cars along the route. For the most part I pretty much ran alone and had I not had support of my IPOD, the journey would have been quite boring and tough. I continued at my own pace and was well within the 6 hr cutoff. Finally, after about 5 and half hours I reached the main street finish line. Nadia and kids were there with the video camera to shoot by finish line video. After the race, I stopped by for a massage and then we headed back to Stansted to catch the flight back to Glasgow. Oh! By the way, the medal was amazing…much bigger and better looking than Belfast.
Ziyad Rahim is an adventure-runner from Pakistan. He currently holds 10 Guinness World Records in long-distance running, ranging from marathons to ultra-marathons.