Organisers of the Potteries Marathon 2016 are already urging runners to sign-up after the event returned this year after a gap of some years.
It’s still a challenging course!
But seasoned runner Graham McLaughlan doesn’t think this should put anyone off.
It’s hot, hilly and hard but it’s a marathon box you must tick for the passion and pride that the Potteries people possess.
To say ‘I’ve run the Potteries Marathon’ is a real badge of honour!
Steff Garvin, of Penkhull, can certainly relate to this. I caught up with her afterwards in the Greyhound Inn in the village (well, the pub’s as good a venue as any!)
She explained: “Last year when they said they were going to bring the Potteries Marathon back – you know how I am, I do silly things for charity – so I said if they were going to bring it back I’d do both, the Potters Arf and the Potteries Marathon for charity.
“And I am a woman of my word!”
Steff’s father, Rob Garvin, is an old hand when it comes to the Potteries Marathon – having run it in 1988, 1989 and 1993 – with a course personal best of 3 hours 35 minutes.
“She’s her own person, Stephanie is, and she’s pretty determined and I thought she’d do it if she even actually had to crawl over the line!” he told me.
It’s not a course to be underestimated – as Rob knows all too well!
“It’s a tough course especially at this time of the year in the summer, in June, it can be very hot,” he said.
And the hills?
“The dreaded Porthill Bank at about 18 miles, and then in Bentilee, up to the Thistlebury, at about 21 miles, something like that.”
So how did Steff cope with all this?
“I was quite shocked because at the end I was just – my legs were hurting so much and I was just – you know “I don’t care, I don’t care anymore” and then I came over the finish line and I thought I was going to do about five hours and it was 4.56 so I was really pleased with that for my first attempt.”
And good news for me – I met a runner who also broke his metatarsal (a few years ago at uni) – but still clocked up a respectable 4 hours 36 minutes, in his first full marathon.
Adrian Lorenz, from Silverdale, said he could still feel it when he runs – especially up the hills.
“It’s just physically and mentally, I think, quite demanding… Because you get to the bottom of another hill after like 15 miles and you think ‘Not another bl00dy hill!’ but I’m glad that I’ve done it.”
Marathons are – of course – a great way of racing charity cash.
Steff’s a seasoned fund-raiser and this year she was running for Approach, a local charity helping people with dementia – a subject close to her heart as her late grandfather suffered from this condition.
You can visit Steff’s JustGiving page here.
Here, courtesy of The Sentinel, are some Potteries Marathon Facts:
- The race was initially launched in 1982
- It’s the first time the full marathon has been held since it down-sized to the Potters ’Arf in 2004
- Runners are not allowed to use headphones during the event due to safety concerns
- Runners will have to complete the course within a seven-hour cut-off period
- The marathon needs a minimum of 1,500 entrants to cover costs