“The marathon is an opportunity for redemption. Opportunity because the outcome is uncertain. Opportunity, because it’s up to you, and only you, to make it happen.” Hayley Carruthers
After finishing First Female at the Great North Run Hayley describes her experience of being selected and running for England in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
“My first opportunity to compete as an international England athlete was such an exciting, overwhelming and fantastic experience and if I could do it ten times over, I would.”
“As I have only being running for 2 years, I never thought an opportunity to compete in Toronto, Canada for my third ever marathon would come along for me at all and never mind so soon.”
“I had two choices. Aim for a show-stopper performance on my England debut and put myself on the line with the risk of ‘blowing-up’ or just aim to PB and accept the time I was given. For anyone that knows me I don’t do things by halves. Yes, I doubt myself at times but who doesn’t.
When I was standing on that start line the nausea, nerves and fear set in. Why? Because I cared about the result and wanted to make sure all my training was put to good use. ”
“That pre-race confusion when your brain no longer functions.”
“As soon as the gun went off all of my nerves evaporated and I felt nothing but gratitude for the opportunity that I had been given and I was going to savour every moment. For me this meant focusing on each mile as they came and living in the present. I didn’t think about what I had done or what I had to do, but only what I was doing at that present moment. I made my choice at mile 17. I felt relaxed, smooth and energetic. I felt too good not to risk it all. So that’s what I did and I ran the last 9.2 miles as hard as I could. The result was an 11 minute PB and the most enjoyable race of my life.”
Hayley is modest and down to earth. She regularly participates in parkruns.
Behind the glamour of Race Day, we don’t see all the hard training.day in and day out.
“Building big foundations to chase those big dreams.”
You can follow Hayley on Twitter at @mileswithhayley
Hayley had Psychological Support with Prof Andy Lane, part of Winning Lane. You can follow Andy on Twitter at @AndyLane27 and partner Helen at @RunHelenLane