So today was the M7 Marathon – my first – and the only Trotters rep – where were you all ?? Warm day, started at 6.45 at 12 degrees, and probably closing in on 20 degrees by the time I finished. No cold fingers or toes, and I’m glad I wore the singlet. Cut to the chase – my time was 3:45.31. I was aiming for 3:40, and at 1/2 way I was looking good, but the 2nd half was of course harder. After 4-5km of arduous slopes up to 30km, I was starting to flag. At the 28th km, I posted a 6 min km – and just at the point I was about to go into minor despair, the 3:45 pacer appeared at my side. I’d passed him and a gang of about 8 at about 14km, but by this point he was alone – he said the headwind had sorted them out, and the hills. He told me to stay with him, and continued to talk me through 4km to the finish, told me to draught behind him, told me to relax when I started cramping in the left hammy 2km out, shouted at me through a witches hat (like a megaphone) at 750 out, and pushed me to ‘sprint’ on the track to the finish. Thanks Gavin – he’s a Berowra Bushie – & in those those last kms I picked up the pace (in quite some pain). I couldn’t walk for about 15mins after (see chair photo with Gavin) – cramped up if I bent the legs. 2nd photo is post massage – with Viv – who was at the dinner on Friday. She was the 4.15 pacer – did it easy – won her division without expending too much effort. Thanks to mentors Richard & Ralph for pre-race advice, and to Lara & Shelley who cheered me at 1/2 way and at the end, and got me back home. I’m walking almost normally now !