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Commonwealth Games Marathon

27/07/2014

On Sunday morning, Jo Zakrzewski donned her Scotland vest and took her place on the start line of the 2014 Commonwealth Games Marathon... 

 

After the previous week's scorching weather competitors would have been relieved that temperatures on race day were more like those normally faced in Scotland. However, despite the cooler conditions and drizzle, thousands of spectators lined the Glasgow streets to help create a fantastic atmosphere around the two lap course on the south side of the city, amongst them cheering on the runners were many of Jo's DRC clubmates.

Jo will provide a fuller report of her race and Games experience but she should be rightly proud of her 14th place in 2:45:29.

Report:

Running at the Commonwealth Games is the highest level at which you can represent Scotland, and so, as she pulled on her vest on Sunday morning, Jo Zakrzewski was having to remind herself that her late call up had really happened and wasn't just a dream.

The spell of hot dry weather had broken overnight and so marathon day dawned rather wet, though it still felt warm and humid. However this didn't seem to dampen the spirits of the en route support, including a coach load of DRC members.

Although the marathon covers 26.2 miles, Jo said that her main concern was for the first 50m. In such a small field (there were only 21 ladies entered), there was nowhere to hide and she was worried about being dropped before the first corner. Thankfully, this did not happen and Jo settled in with a Northern Irish runner for the early stages of the race. Their PBs were only a few seconds apart, but from the first couple of miles, it appeared to Jo that the NI lady was targeting a much swifter time, so she decided to let her go and settled into her own pace. Unfortunately, this meant that Jo then had to run the next 24 miles on her own, but she did have the company of the thousands who lined the streets.

The course consisted of 2 laps, with a bell and lap counter after the first 13 miles! Each lap crossed the River Clyde 4 times, and toured round some of Glasgow's prominent landmarks and parks. The wind picked up over the morning and so the runners found conditions in the second half much tougher, but there were interesting things to look out for (such as a saltire draped Shetland pony in Pollock Park).

Although having to work alone, Jo managed to move up from 19th place after the first lap to 14th place at the finish, crossing the line with a grin on her face in a time of 2:45. She thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and was amazed (and deafened at times) by the level of support shown by everyone en route - family, friends, clubmates, and people she'd never even met cheering and encouraging her on. Most photos from the race picture Jo running with a smile on her face, showing what an amazing time she was having enjoying the atmosphere... and she says that it was an experience she will remember for a long time to come.

 

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