Friday, 7 May 2010

London was calling.

Firstly sorry for the delayed race report.

London Marathon Race Report

After helping out within the finishing area last year I knew I had to do this race, and in a bizarre way it had to be my first marathon - er well stopping at 26.2M anyway but you know what I mean - don`t you?

Was lucky enough to receive a place through the ballot. Drew up a rough training which basically meant I could do most of my longer `training` runs during some local races, I figured I would get supported along the way, these included;

Bramley 20 - Result = 2.53.20 - Prediction (at that pace) = 3hrs 49mins
Surrey Spitfire 20 - Result = 2.47.18 - Prediction (at that pace) = 3hrs 40mins
Cranleigh 21 - Result = 3.02.26 - Prediction (at that pace) = 3hrs 49mins
Moonlight Challenge - Result = 6.04.56 - Went through the 26.2M point at about 10.30pm so just about 4hrs 30mins (last 6.55M used as a cool down)

(Only really `raced` the the Surrey Spitfire & as for the Moonlight Challenge that was just over-distance training)

Generally pleased with pre-London training thou.

When I applied for London I hadn`t really any experience on long runs so I estimated a finishing time of 4hrs 30mins. I went to the expo and picked up my race number - 4994 Blue Start - Pen 7 .........mmm ok that`s a bit further back than I would have liked but if I put down 3.50 / 4.00 hrs when I applied I may not been given a place....

RW pacers -

Pen 3 - 8.00/mile (just under 3.30)
Pen 5 - 9.00/mile (just under 4.00)
Pen 7 - 10.00/mile (just under 4.30)

So the plan of 3.40 / 3.45 (around 8.23m/m) was ditched as I knew I was never going to hit that pace starting from Pen 7.

Plan B became Plan A - sub 4 and hopefully that would be progressive run as hopefully as time went on in the race I would be given space to run.

Race Day

Slept well, up at 5.00am, showered & feed as being picked up at 6.00am. We were travelling up in the Sandhurst Joggers runner`s coach. Got there in plenty of time. Quick wander around, met up with Plodding Hippo for a couple of pre-fetch meeting photos Suddenly loads of fetchies appeared - photo time. Shortly afterwards the heavens opened. Q. Why don`t runners pack a bin-liner in their race bag???. Said good luck to my club mates and made my way to pen 7 - I needed to be in front part of the pen.

9.45 am came along & some movement forward, then a bit more, then a full scale walk So at 9.51 and a bit I started my VLM. At about 300 metres in we seemed to stop for some lights big cheer when they went green and off again.

As expected the 1st mile was slow, with the next few miles getting a bit quicker. Saw a few fetchies inc SarahL in her Gingerbreadman outfit, a mile or so further up went past the giraffe runner - both completely mad. Around Cutty Sark reduced the pace again. I moved through the runners fairly easily but I didn`t really notice / enjoy the route as I needed to concentrate on passing the `synchronised runners` and avoid the water bottles, I also noticed the tips of my toes were hurting - I guess this was due to slowing down and `breaking`, anyway carried on.

The gel plan was the one I normally follow - one every 5 miles plus some added jelly babies en route.

Before the race I had written on the back of my number certain reminders of key positions - Mile 13 I had to be on the left hand side, Mile 14 was still on the left, Mile 17 right hand side of the road, Mile 20 left hand side, Mile 22 Right hand side. Finish in the middle.

Just before mile 13 I moved over to the lefthand side - basically this is where you can see the faster runners coming past on the other side - their 21 miles. Missed seeing the top elites Also you get to see the fetchpoint - massive lift that - massive cheer - thanks guys Shouted out to Sarah Gee (who never looks strained or anything - just damm fast), shouted out to Jock just before I went round the corner.

Mile 14 I was looking out for a brolly...a prearranged sign where I would see my Brother & his wife...and it worked and I saw them, which was a boost

As the miles ticked over I felt strong but knew the weaving & change of pace was going to wear me out, hopefully I wouldn`t go pop... At Mile 17 I moved over for the Runner`s World Point..saw the 1st group & for some reason I didn`t (couldn`t) stop for my goodies - knickers just fancied a lift. Pinched a few jelly babies off a couple of speculators. At Mile 20 saw my brother again & saw Chris from the parkrun.

Mile 22 - the fetchpoint - been looking forward to this all morning and it didn`t disappoint - massive thanks guys - made sure I waved & chapped everyone there. Pull into `Team 7` pitting area - the plan was a quick hello and a quick kiss & a hug with Elaine & Colin - this didn`t go to plan as I got a kiss off Colin too.. Being serious - thank you ALL for being there you were stars.

Anway only a few miles left now and in one way disappointment but in another thank god.

I have never ran in a race with so much support - some places it was so loud you almost ran harder to move away from it all (All meant in a nice way thou).

I guess I did find the last part quite hard, no more gels just water mainly to throw over the back of my neck. Also thought about my posture. One thing I found hard to get my head around was that the garmin became out of sync distance wise to the mile markers so I just dug deep, reminding myself of the longer runs I had done & my future plans.

I looked at my Garmin in one of the final miles - it clocked 8.24 m/m that`s my marathon pace - I did smile at that as better late than never

The final part of the course I remembered from last year`s BUPA 10,000 so I knew the finish wasn`t too far off now.

Saw & shouted out to Moat - so good to see someone I knew so near the end.

Massive cheers from the crowd...and crossed the line and knew it was just over the 4 hours mark. (4.00.08).

Chatted with Clubmates who were helping in the finishing area which was really nice. Finally made my way to the baggage reclaim, got changed and made my way to the pub for some post race light refreshments - what a Fetchfest that was.

In conclusion - Not bad & had some fun with the training. After a week of thinking about it, starting off with disappointment I am warming to the idea it wasn`t a bad run after all but I know I can run closer to 3.40. One of main positives I took out of it was that my legs did not feel too bad during & were ok on the Monday & Tuesday so that looking good for endurance running.

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 9:45(9:45/m) - 127cal
2) - 1m - 9:07(9:07/m) - 131cal
3) - 1m - 8:39(8:39/m) - 130cal
4) - 1m - 8:36(8:36/m) - 131cal
5) - 1m - 8:55(8:55/m) - 130cal
6) - 1m - 9:16(9:16/m) - 131cal
7) - 1m - 9:12(9:12/m) - 130cal
8) - 1m - 8:48(8:48/m) - 131cal
9) - 1m - 8:31(8:31/m) - 131cal
10) - 1m - 8:35(8:35/m) - 131cal
11) - 1m - 8:44(8:44/m) - 131cal
12) - 1m - 8:57(8:57/m) - 130cal
13) - 1m - 8:56(8:56/m) - 132cal
14) - 1m - 8:38(8:38/m) - 132cal
15) - 1m - 8:43(8:43/m) - 131cal
16) - 1m - 9:24(9:24/m) - 125cal
17) - 1m - 8:55(8:55/m) - 130cal
18) - 1m - 8:46(8:46/m) - 133cal
19) - 1m - 9:47(9:47/m) - 157cal
20) - 1m - 9:06(9:06/m) - 137cal
21) - 1m - 9:29(9:29/m) - 131cal
22) - 1m - 9:39(9:39/m) - 131cal
23) - 1m - 9:35(9:35/m) - 132cal
24) - 1m - 8:58(8:58/m) - 129cal
25) - 1m - 8:24(8:24/m) - 100cal - MP...ohh how I laughed
26) - 1m - 9:28(9:28/m) - 131cal
27) - 0.57m - 5:19(9:19/m) - 75cal

START TIME - 09:51:35

5K - 00:28:38
10K - 00:57:04
15K - 01:24:45
20K - 01:52:23
HALF - 01:58:23
25K - 02:19:59
30K - 02:48:08
35K - 03:17:41
40K - 03:47:13

Only 10,980 runner beat me

Next up - after the week of non-running (ok it was 6 days), it`s the Bracknell Half on Sunday, then its a busy month with a couple of fun 10 milers then back to London for the BUPA 10,000 at the end of the month (not dressing up as a Nun this year thou.).

Next marathon is the North Devon (Woolacoombe) on the 27th June - better pack my knotted hankie.

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