Following the marathon this past weekend, three of our own decided to take on the challenge of the blood, the sweat and the 26.3 miles around London.
After Mr Battman’s chapel talk on Tuesday morning, many of you may already be aware of his feelings surrounding the race as well as another RHS knee-related injury. As you may expect before the marathon emotions of nervousness and excitement were emulated from all contestants, but how can one deal with such reactions? Sir said, ‘I didn’t sleep well for the two nights before. I tried to cope with these by just reminding myself that, while I had not run 6 miles before, I had run 20 two weeks before and it was just about following the same process and believing in the work I had already put in’. However the beginning of the marathon stems deeper than just the starting line. Having watched the marathon on tv as a child as well as the media covering the race, Mr Battman has always had a desire to complete one, however the feelings of watching it via the internet, in comparison to actually running and being a part of such an enormous event differ massively, and can ultimately not be described unless you do it yourself.
After 4 hours 24 minutes and 25 seconds, sir crossed the finish line at Buckingham palace. An immediate feeling of relief was surrounded by disappointment, as mentioned in his chapel speech, he describes the last 10 miles to be tough, especially when, “you are overtaken by a man dressed as a crumpet”, Sir describes his knee injury to be apart of long distance running and something that simply must be endured, this endurance can still be seen with him hobbling around the hockey pitch during training, a mere 3 days post marathon. And finally a word from mr Battman himself, ‘ My main piece of advice would be to find someone to train with. I was lucky enough not to have to do my long runs alone. Long run Sunday became a staple in Mr Hodson and my weekly schedules’ with Mr Battman already signing up to his next marathon in April, maybe his determination and dedication will inspire you to join him.
After consistently hearing about Mr Hodson’s knee injury for the past two years in his English class, some could argue that is a miracle that not only did he complete this feat but with an incredibly impressive time of 3h35.35 ( ‘spooky, given that I live at 35 RHS, I also ran 26.55 miles according to Strava, which is 0.35 miles further than a marathon should be”) sir was very happy with his time even though he didn’t run much in the last two weeks, as u might suspect, because of his knee injury.
How does one even prepare themselves to undertake such a challenge as well as approaching the start line, knowing Mr Hodson one may think with confidence, stating he didn’t feel nervous before the race, but rather depressed; however, with quotes directly from Sir’s English class, ‘I’ve got to do it now it was announced it in assembly’ inspiring morale and spirit in not only himself but his dedicated pupils following along. Mr Hodson ran the marathon on behalf of the royal springboard, a charity close to the school itself, raising nearly £4000. At the finish line sir states that ‘I thought I’d feel elated crossing the line, but I didn’t at first. I really wanted to kick for home at a good pace, but my body really wasn’t on speaking terms with my mind by that point. When I did get to the end, I stopped running; it was then that I realised what my legs had been through: I could barely stand up! In the next hour, I began to feel much better, I met my family and friends who’d supported me, I bumped into Señor Encinas, I had a beer. Oh, it was jolly nice’. Post marathon Sir’s knee has held up surprisingly well, even though a couple of days later he reportedly ‘felt like I needed a toboggan going down the stairs’ and had two black toenails.
Some final advice for any future marathon runners, ‘My knee issues came from inconsistent training, but I scraped through. Be really careful with your nutrition plan. Don’t over-eat; build up your carbs in the few days before, but don’t overdo it. Get up early on the day, have a bagel, an hour later, do an energy bar, take 5-6 gels: sorted.’
Mrs Merrell has always had a passion for running, stemming from her days in the force where fitness is a part of the daily military lifestyle. The challenge of not only completing a marathon but being able to raise £3200 for the charity ‘porridge and pens Ghana’ (£700 over her fundraising target) as well as completing this under a year of having her baby, her time of 4:56:12 is extremely impressive. However her reasoning for running the marathon ultimately comes from her father, who has run 4 marathons throughout his life. Being a musician, Miss accustomed to performing under immense pressure, although this may not have been apparent until after the race, ‘ I hadn’t realised how much all these pressures were weighing down on me, It was an emotional rollercoaster!’.
Upon Arriving at Buckingham palace Mrs Merrell states that,” I have to admit, I had a little cry to myself as I crossed the finish line. I had a mixture of feelings: relief, pain, excitement, pride, disappointment with my time”. Post race the first thing Mrs Merrell did after crossing the finishing line was call her dad, crying down the phone, ‘NEVER AGAIN’, however only 3 days post marathon she is even contemplating competing again, along with Mr Battman, next year. And a word for the future marathon runners, ‘ Go for it! And make sure you train…for 4 – 5 hours is a lot and can actually be very boring and a lot of stress on your body so it’s better to be prepared!’
The bubble congratulates Mrs Merrell, Mr Battman and the Bubble grandee himself, Mr Hodson, on their amazing achievements, as well as representing RHS around the capital.
by Zara Spendiff