Cath Robson reports on her marathon debut at the inaugural Stirling Marathon:
I’ll keep it brief, but just to thank all of you Claremonters who have helped, encouraged and inspired me in meeting my target ‘Run a marathon before I’m 55’ which I set myself back in January 2016. Along the way I’ve done things neither my younger self or my PE teachers would have ever believed that the slowest girl in the year would achieve – joined a running club, worn a team vest, taken up yoga, gained a run leader qualification from UK Athletics… I’ve also met a great bunch of other runners, including the rest of the Claremont team, the women in the TGC social group and all those nameless individuals who keep you going on solo runs with a nod, smile or ‘Hi!’
Anyway, Sunday 21st May very early morning, I disguised myself as a proper runner by pulling on my new Claremont hoodie and headed off for the transfer bus to Blair Atholl Safari Park. Porridge… tea… toilet queue… banana… toilet queue… We’re off! Giraffes, elephants and ostriches, Doune Castle, Dunblane, Bridge of Allen, Stirling Uni campus (how scenic was that? I may need to go there for a PhD!), Wallace Monument – all lovely. Two and a half laps of Stirling including the dreaded ‘wall’ at 19 miles and a short-nearly-vomiting sit on the kerb at 25½ miles – not so lovely. Sprinting when I finally saw the finish line – priceless! So I didn’t make it sub-5 hours as I’d hoped, but I did make it and put my Claremont hoodie back on, but this time I was wearing my marathon finisher’s medal – a proper runner!