Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sunburned in Northern Ireland

Well, for those of you who were wondering, I successfully walked the Belfast City marathon!!!

Doug Baker, my flatmate Allison, and I walked the 26.2 miles in just over 7 hours, averaging 16.5 minute miles. Whew!

While my feet didn't blister, there were definitely some hot spots of friction, and my joints were extremely sore when we got home that evening. A hot shower has never felt so good!

My commentary of the marathon would go something like this:
The marathon route itself was probably the most challenging part. Our first loop was out to East Belfast which was easy enough except for the hordes of people we were walking with. (It's difficult to set a pace when you are surrounded by people doing the fun-walk of only 9 miles.) Then, we broke free of those slackers, headed out to West Belfast, and walked through the peace walls there. That was really interesting until the second half of West Belfast/ into the first part of North Belfast was extremely uphill. (And this is about the point when lunch time should have been happening... And the nutrition stations were all out of food, aka oranges. Walking through the runners' cup and orange peel rubbish was subpar.)
But, then we got to the downhill section. Wheeeee!
Well, little did we know, that after the couple miles along the Belfast lough (which was scenic enough), the industrial estate was waiting. One word for it: grim.
We got out of that though and headed back into city centre. We headed along the River Lagan towards Ormeau park. And lo and behold! We were walking into Ormeau park and could hear the crowds at the finish.
But don't be fooled, we still had 3 miles left to walk. So back out of the park we went and walked all away around it.
At last, we had reached the final 100m. So, Doug, Allison, and I ran it to the finish! Hoorayyyyyyyyyy. Time to finally eat, sit down, and stretch after 7 hours of walking.
A mile has never seemed so long.

Funny enough, the sorest part of my body when I woke up on Tuesday was the sunburn on the back of my neck!!! (I remembered to put sunscreen - or sun cream as it's called here - on my face and arms but forgot my neck!)

This past weekend up on the North Coast was absolutely wonderful. The company, food, scenery, and games of Uno were absolutely fantastic. Back to 'normal' work this week.

In grace and peace from sunny Belfast.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats to you, Doug and Allison on your 7-hour walk! That is quite a feat.