Friday, 17 October 2014

Cosy Chester Cottage Weekend (Or: How to run a marathon in under 3 hours with only 6 months training)

Firstly, the above title refers to my fiancé, not to me. I couldn’t run a marathon at all, even if a bear was chasing me and David Beckham was waiting for me at the end, topless and carrying a pizza. But yes, my fiancé managed to do something which some people take years to train for and still never manage – he ran his first ever marathon in 2 hours, 59 minutes and 30 seconds precisely, which is such an insane achievement and I’m so proud of him!

He chose to run the Chester marathon, so we (me, him and his sister) rented the Lock Keeper’s Cottage on the outskirts of the town. We arrived really late on Friday night, and it was cold, and it just seemed like the warmest, most welcoming cottage in the world, with a huge comfy bed that we sank into happily.

We spent the next day exploring Chester, which I realised I’d been to before (I don’t know how I managed to forget that) but is an absolutely beautiful place. We had lunch in the cutest little café, overlooking the clock tower…

Then went for a walk around the walls. 

It’s an old Roman town full of ruins, and a stunning cathedral, which we popped into for a visit.

It was so nice not to go out on a Saturday evening, which might be a bit sad to admit. We bought pies from M&S (carb loading for Ian), and I bought a Lush bath bomb and a Yankee candle and had a perfect evening!

The next morning, we went to watch Ian run his marathon. We caught him at the half way point, when he seemed in relatively good spirits, and then headed to the end. I kept thinking I could see him as the events coordinator counted down to the all important 3 hour mark… 2 hours 56, 2 hours 57… time seemed to speed up as I stared  hopefully into the distance…

And then, out of nowhere, he appeared! Limping, bright red in the face and with a face of agony, but I realised he was actually going to do it. It was really overwhelmingly emotional – I started crying! It’s just such a huge achievement and I’m so incredibly proud of him!

So here are my tips, as promised, to run a marathon in 3 hours on 6 months training:

  • Don’t have any kit – Ian ran in an old cotton t shirt with holes in, and socks he wears to work – he looked a little out of place amongst the other runners in all their gear!
  • Eat a lot of jelly babies
  • In the last week have two lunches every day and put on six pounds, making your girlfriend fat because of all the pasta you insist on having
  • Don’t do any training for the last month before your run because your legs hurt
  • Then in the last week, when everyone says you shouldn’t run at all, beat your personal best in a 5k
  • Just be really, really, really naturally talented!

OK, it’s not very useful advice, I’m sorry. But it was an amazing day, and I am still so full of pride thinking about it!


  1. What an amazing achievement! Well done him!!

    Rosie xx

  2. Wow, well done Ian, you should be very very proud!! Chester looks like the cutest little town x

    What Rachael Wrote

  3. enjoy your time
    amazing ,I wanna go with u

  4. Great post :) Well done Ian :)

  5. Wow Chester looks beautiful! I've never been before, but it's definitely on my hitlist now! xx Emsy xx


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