Finish line photos are great. To catch people's immediate emotions as they cross the line of whatever race they are doing as they meet their targets, achieve what they once thought they would never be able to do as they are cheered and applauded on by crowds of family, friends and strangers. I love being at the finish line watching people cross the line and reach their goals. For me it's one of my favorite parts of race day. However sometimes we aren't always happy. Which is shown in my Stirling Marathon finish line photo. I think it sums up just about every ounce of disappointment I felt that day.
Stirling was the only 'proper' race I had on this year. Due to great planning, my marathon training was due to start the week my baby was born, so I got off to a flyer by taking a rest week to hang about with the newest addition. The next 9 weeks or so involved the soon to be Mrs Shaw allowing me to run whenever I wanted, however the appeal of home life was far too great and my training was littered with missed runs and runs that were cut short so I could get home to my growing family. I did turn up on race day hopeful as ever but my lack of decent training showed and I ended up finishing with what I feel was my most disappointing performance to date, despite me having huge pool of underwhelming performances to choose from. It is still my favorite finish line photo I've had, and it will take a lot to beat for many reasons.
Moving swiftly on and I didn't have any races at all over the summer. What I did have was pretty much non stop beer drinking just about every day. Doesn't really help the running in any way but it did help me sleep through the night while my soon to be wife won at wifeing for me and the kids. Who knows how I would survive without her doing everything for me and supporting me everywhere.
In September the soon to be Mrs Shaw finally became Mrs Shaw...woooop woooop! Then I had a cheeky 5 weeks off work, which was felt with a bang when I went back to work and run the Kielder Marathon in a little over 3:30.
For those who are wondering, this picture is what it looks like to drink constantly for months, do zero training and then run a marathon. It hurt a good bit. But it doesn't take me too long to get back into it and with a solid 2 weeks training under my belt, and some days off the beer I managed a PB at the Lochaber half marathon in 1:20 with a good bit less pain in my face and body.
So it aint all bad! 2018 will be a bit different. Back to the proper racing with a middle sized ultra and hopefully another 24 hour race, that's where it's at! I didn't achieve much running in 2017 but I did extend my wee family to 1 more daughter, and upgraded my number 1 supporter to my wife, so I can safely say it's my best year I've had yet. Different, but I've never looked this happy in a finish line photo...