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Lance's journey to the New York marathon

Just 5 weeks to go until I leave with the Achilles team for our big New York marathon adventure – and my knees hurt after a big hit out around the Wellington streets yesterday. But it’s poor form to whinge about that when you’re running with a team that is made up of people with all sorts of disabilities from blindness to amputees. Or in the case of my Achilles buddy Richard Warwick, someone who suffered a brain bleed when he was a teen and has lived with semi-paralysis down his left hand side for the last 30 odd years of his life. So I keep my trap shut!

It’s because of Richard and our support of Achilles that I find myself training for my third marathon (after promising myself I would stop after the 2nd one). And it will be an altogether different experience guiding Richard around the famous New York course rather than doing it myself. My first two marathons were sub 3.30 (just) and 3.45. But this one will be more like 8hrs – a long time on our feet as we shuffle ourselves around the boroughs of New York on the 1st of November. In fact everything about this marathon will be different – the pace, the setting, the nutrition requirements, the team dynamic, the sense of achievement.

The training has been different as well. We’ve been doing that both individually and together for some time now – in fact right back to Cigna Round the Bays in February this year when we paired up for the first time (and this crazy New York idea was hatched). Getting used to travelling at Richard’s pace, and thinking about his needs rather than just mine, has been the hardest thing (that and my ageing 40 something knees!). Because this event isn’t about me; it’s about him and the amazing thing he is doing.

With just 5 weeks to go, our thoughts are now turning to all the issues that every marathoner has to plan for; when do we do our last big session, when should we taper, do we get new shoes or stick with the old ones, what are we going to eat and drink on the day, what are we going to wear if its hot/cold/wet/windy? It’s exciting, and a little daunting. One thing for sure – the final countdown is really on.