Driving home after Marathon


Childcare issues mean that instead of staying in a nice hotel with my husband (who would drive) I may well have to drive the 2 1/2 hours home after a marathon.

I have driven home after 3 half marathons with no ill effect.  Got home and cooked lunch and generally carried on the day as normal.

I realise though that the marathon is a whole different matter and would appreciate some peeps advice.

Many thanks


  • For me? No way, but then I would consider it dangerous for me to drive home after a 10k (having done it once before and scaring my passengers half to death) Oops image

    Probably best if you can have a short rest and some food and drink before you set off.

  • HTF ..  are we talking Hastings?

    Not that it matters

    anyway,  a lot will say that it is not a wise idea et.c et.c but as KK has pointed out it all depends on the individual.  Personally I would much rather drive home after than the next day as this is usually when I ache more!

    I drove home after my first (impromptu) marathonand lived to tell the tale !
  • Yes, but it depends.

     I did that after the Longest day where I'd ended up in the med tent, rested a few hours then drove back to manchester, but that was not good and I'd not do that again. 

    After IMNZ then I took an hour to get some food, then drove the campervan back to the campsite without any problems. 

    But after FLM, I took an hour to get to hobble to  Green Park and only just managed to get into a taxi  - wouldn't have even considered driving.

  • I was exhausted after my marathon and proably couldn't have driven, its the individuals. If you have done the practise you will probably be ok

  • I drove home after my very first marathon.

    It actually didn't seem that bad. I hung around  the finish for a while, just to recover a bit. Had fluids and something to eat.

    Driving back, I did stop off for a meal. So that would be my advise hopetofinish. That, and take it easy of course.

    I'll be driving back after Hastings, though only to my brothers in Lewes, which isn't quite as far as driving all the way home.

    Does mean I can't really enjoy a post race beer with the other runners though image

  • Done it once

    legs were fine, but id be more worried about my head

    youll ned to allow at least an hour to wind down and refuel and stuff

  • I drove home after climbing Ben Nevis.

    I was mightily glad that Mr LB's car is an automatic with cruise control!

    Neither leg worked so I put the car in drive and sat in the inside lane....image

    I don't think I tapped the brake till we got to Gretna services - by which point I'd seized up!image

    Personally I wouldn't choose to drive after a marathon, but some will be fine.

  • Thanks for all the advice!

    Yes M.eldy, it is the Hastings marathon.

    I have a lovely room booked at the White Rocks with a sea view for the Saturday night.  Hubby and I havent been away without the kids for years. 

    Think I will just have to buy my sister a lovely bunch of flowers and a massive bar of wholenutimage.

    Ive only got 3 boys and a cocker spaniel to drop off, how hard can it be .............................

  • I shall be driving home after Hastings and its about the same amount of driving ....

    But not straight away
  • I've driven 400 miles home after 2 Londons with no problems except getting out of the car at the services, If you've trained properly then you will have an idea of how you are going to feel afterwards from your long runs.  I too drive home after a half and cook sunday dinner for the family, I might get a headache but that's all.

    Funny thing is, I couldn't stomach a beer after a marathon though. image

  • My initial plan for next years Edinburgh marathon (my first marathon) is for me to drive back home to Newcastle.  I've reconsidered as I think it's too dangerous, lack of concentration being one thing.  Plus 2 house cramped up in the car probably isn't the best recovery plan.

    My new plan involves my dad hanging around the finish line for approximatley 6 hours and then drive me home.image

    I think everyone is different though, for those who have done marathons in the past, or won't be too knackered after they finish could probably drive home with no problems.  Not me though!  Dad cabs all the way image

  • Providing you leave enough time for some fuel to get back in your system - this is a must as your brain needs lots of energy to work properly - you should be fine.  I fully intend to drive home after Edinburgh next year, should take me 2.5 hours.  There is the risk though that you could have a bad reaction to your mara, but if you have trained right that should be minimal.

    Enjoy the race and the hotel hopetofinish

  • I realise this may be a dumb question but can't you stay in the hotel overnight and hubby does the childcare since its already booked. 
  • Hi Rachel

    The hotel is booked for the Saturday night, and the marathon is on the Sunday. 

    Would also be a real shame to waste such a nice hotel room - we dont get out muchimage

  • I've got the Blackpool marathon in April and i'll be driving home to the wirral afterwards, need to be in work the next day as its the end of the financial year, so being a finance analyst for the NHS i cant really be phoning in sick or booking leave.

    Though i am taking the wife and the kids so the wife might have to drive home if it gets to much for me

  • Drove from Kent to the Cotswolds after my first FLM but did stopped at wife's uncle's in Orpington to have a bath and something to eat.

    Stopped at the motorway services to have a coffee and a break during the journey and just took it steady.

    Last FLM I did we travelled by train which was much more relaxing if not as cheap and convenient.

  • HTF

    we are all different

    each day can be fifferent

    Each run certainly can be different- especially the marathon

    i drive home after most of our events - but i take plenty of regular stops on route home -

    i drink plenty and get plenty of fresh air - with the radio on

    I won't go into a typical day for me from start to finish with Phil as it'll bore the pants off everyone

    but there far more to my marathons than meets the eye 

  • I usually drive home after a marathon-need to frefuel first though and stretch a lot and try and reduce the stiffness that'll come on.

    Once had to take over from my wife driving (250 miles) home after I'd done London to Brighton in 1999 because she was too tired!!

  • HTF, I've driven home loads of times after doing 20miles but always managed to get chauffeured after a marathon.  Like the others say - plenty of food and drink (have extra supplies in the car) but most important is a really really good stretch - at least 10-15mins of stretching.  Theres bound to be a sports masseur there, have one and tell them that you need to drive (so they don't overdo it).  It won't just make a difference that day but the next few days as well!

    I'd go through the stretches with you but you'll be finished and half way home before I get there image.

  • Done it 3 times,from Mablethorpe,Windemere and Edinburgh marathons,back to Sunderland.Give yourself 45/60 mins to recover.Drink plenty of fliuds,eat,stuff like bananas,mars bar,jaffa cakes,crisps.Its important not to get back behind the wheel until you're ready.
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