A lot happened in the week leading up to the Windermere Marathon. I played 3 rounds of golf, spent 2 days in Alton Towers and did a bit of sightseeing in and around Glasgow . A day before the race Nadia opted out of the Lake District trip due to exhaustion, so I had no choice but to go there myself. We had rented an automatic car from Enterprise especially for this trip so that Nadia could drive!!! On race morning, I woke up at 6am and thought about quitting the race. After thinking for about 10 minutes, I assured myself that I am actually super human so there is no way that I would miss the race.
So, on a bright sunny day I drove down from Glasgow to Windermere, Lake District. It was a 2 and half hour drive but took me about 3 as I had to make a dash to the WC along the way. After relieving myself and feeling a lot lighter, I continued my journey to Windermere. I got there about half an hour early but was stuck at the Brathway estate gates for about 20 odd minutes due to traffic congestion. I had to run across the field to get to the station to pick up my timing chip and join the starting line…so that cost me about 4-5 minutes. The race itself was a treat….by far the most beautiful race that I have ever run to-date. The scenery was breathtaking, beautiful hills on one side and the Lake Windermere on the other.
There were a few steep hills along the course but by and large the route was rolling. There weren’t many supporters along the way apart from when the course went thru the small towns. At around 20 mile mark was the main Lake Windermere tourist attraction and I was well on course to do a sub 5 hr marathon. However, it started raining heavily there and it continued until I got to a mile from the finish line. Along the route I was competing with a British soldier who was running the marathon in his military gear with a 50 pound pack on his back. I made a point not to lose to him and I didn’t !!! I crossed the finish line in a little over 5 hrs. As they took off my chip, I walked ahead searching for the medal, but it wasn’t there. Disappointed, I asked around for it and was told that the they have run out of it and one would be mailed to me. It did arrive about a week later and Nadia brought it back with her from Scotland. Hence, I achieved my target … running 3 marathons in 2 weeks. Not bad for someone who doesn’t train for marathons!!!!!
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.