Unfortunately Mark finished his race in the medical tent, after being picked up on the course at 35K.
He’s had a nagging pain in his calf and hamstring for about five weeks, which reared its ugly head early in the race. It didn’t become a problem until the long stretch of downhill after the half way point. When we saw him at 30K (and our friends jumped in to join him for the last 12K), he was visibly pained but still hanging on.
Unfortunately, I got the dreaded phone call shortly thereafter when he had to pull out of the race around 35K. The pain had become debilitating, shooting from his piriformis all the way down his leg and even into his foot. He made the tough but smart call to get help, and fortunately our friends were there and were able to call me to let me know.
I eventually found him at the medical tent (they suspect it’s a sciatic issue, but he’ll get it checked out at physio tomorrow) and got him home. For now, he’s enjoying a stiff drink and some pizza and he is in good spirits. He knows he made the right choice and he knows there will be other marathons. But it still hurts.
I’m not sure if this makes it easier or harder to swallow, but he was on pace and running a beautiful race. Sometimes the best laid plans… well, you know. He’ll have another shot at this.
Thanks for all of the support; I’ll keep you posted and will share some pics shortly.