Race Report - Manchester Marathon 2024 - Sue Crabtree

Apr 17, 2024

Manchester marathon race report from "Wonder Woman" Sue Crabtree

I have been coached by Dave for 5 years now. During that time, the red wine has flowed freely in the Tune household due to all the improvements I have made under his guidance, although his jokes remain as bad as ever…
Two years ago, my husband suffered a life changing brain injury and our lives changed overnight. It’s been the hardest and most difficult period for our family and our lives are very different now to  the path that we might have thought we would take. Initially and for quite some period, running wasn’t even a thing that crossed my mind, I had neither the inclination nor the energy, nor the time. Dave (and Jen) encouraged me to maybe get out once or twice a week for a half hour jog to clear the head when I was ready and had the head space. He even updated TrainingPeaks with that as my schedule! I probably got out the door maybe twice a week for close to a year in reality.
Then he started nagging me to come to Portugal this year. I really wanted to, but the logistics of that seemed impossible, my life is very complicated now! With a lot of help and family support, we figured it and I committed to it. I couldn’t very well go on a running training camp with two jogs round the village twice a week, so I told Dave I was going to enter Manchester and to get me to the start line.
Mission ‘get Sue to Manchester’ began. I don’t have the mental head space for big sessions at present and my miles have to be done in the early morning so training was about consistency and a few progressive runs essentially, with some strength work. I just did what Dave told me to do really, and he adapted my training to my new circumstances perfectly – I never felt pressured or that it was too much. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and one by one the runs got done and I started to feel a bit like my old running self. Portugal was incredible, being ‘me’ for a week motivated me further and I met some brilliant people and trained harder than I am able to manage at home.
Manchester was never about getting a pb and Dave tried really hard to take any time pressure off me, but I wanted to give a reasonable account of myself anyway. It’s the least nervous I have ever been at a start line and the most determined. My family have been through so much these last wo years – it was for them as much as me. I’m pretty good at pacing marathons and knowing instinctively what pace feels ‘right’ and just under 8mm felt just that from the outset, I tend to pick up a bit at the end naturally. The atmosphere and crowds were amazing, weather perfect – it was just a case of ticking the miles off until the end. Which I did. I crossed the line in 3.28. Going under 3.30 was my sort of hope, like I say, at least a reasonable account of myself.
I crossed the line and cried pretty much all the way from the finish to the event village. I’m so busy these days, I don’t really have time to reflect a lot – and I guess this was something of an outlet. Sometimes, running is way more than about running – it’s been my therapy in so many ways over the years but never more so now.



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