Apart from the 5 x 1 mile races & 15M practice run the other month all this running around a track is a bit new to me. I`m not a track person but a track marathon is something I`ve wanted to do for a while now - mind over matter stuff / strong minded so I jumped at the chance when I saw this event open. Plus I think the door is slightly open for 6 hrs or maybe 12 hrs track events :-)
Come race day - I was a bit concerned with the weather forecast - more concerned with possible rain than the cold. I had managed to twist Alan`s (from the club) arm & he entered too , I collected him nice and early and made our way down the M3, A303. Well talk about black clouds - I thought the world was coming to an end - lucky just after Basingstoke it cleared up.
We got to the Andover AC track really early - we had half planned to run the Andover parkrun if we had time - and guess what - we had time Well we would have got cold standing around. It was so icy that they had to use an alternative parkrun course (3 laps of football pitches) - pace was going to be very easy. It was all very social & nice to chat & catch up with folks - parkrun done in 29:05 (yes I know I need to go back a grab that sub 23 for a `new` event). After a quick change of gear & drink it was time to make our way over (talking less than 200 metres) to the track.
I have to say it was like an Ultra event - with a small, relaxed field of runners (35 runners). I looked around and saw some faces I knew & some I didn`t.
Great race briefing by Ian. It covered all the points I was concerned with - how are the laps going to be counted, am I going to run more - not that I minded too much as I`d already run a parkrun plus I don`t mind more than 26.2M anyway but it`s always a concern I guess at these types of events.
My `race` plan was not racing - somewhere around 4:20 + would be good. It wasn`t about time today it was all about head & body reaction. I did feel quite weird not carrying stuff - gels, water etc. Kit wise I went with bouncy shoes, Full recovery legs, Tec T-Shirt, Fetch vest, arm warmers, gloves, buff around my neck & hat & sunnies.
We made our way over to the start - it sure was cold when not in the sun plus a little bit icy still. After a couple of minutes we were off. One thing I was looking forward to was seeing how the faster runners would be especially towards the end of the race. There was no point in getting worried about being lapped......however I didn`t expect it to be lapped within TWO laps yes 800 metres Lets just say I stayed in the second lap most of the race - I guess it was a bit like going into the fast lane of the motorway when you first learnt to drive a car Come lap three of four I generally stopped trying to count the laps, I looked at it as no point worrying until at least maybe 4 hrs 15 mins into.
Now at the race briefing we were told about Garmins about GPS and that they should be turned off - well I didn`t. I used the stopwatch function a bit ensuing I had a gel every hour but wasn`t using it for distance travelled until later on.
Looking back I cannot tell you too much of the race itself - the laps kept ticking over - I had switched off. It wasn`t a `heads down look at the floor` race I was looking around seeing where people were, how they were running. Thanking the lap counters with thumbs up as I went past. Chatting to other runners when paces permitted. Time (& laps) soon ticked by.
I looked at the Garmin - & I knew I should have asked but it said I was coming up to `20 Mile`. I had always planned a treat at 20M - the ipod A bit of music then a catch up on Marathon Talk. Before I knew it I was was thinking I was around 98 laps - I thought I better ask....only to be told I was on 92 laps - 6 out - that`s 1.5 M out :0 What was ever worse than that was hearing the bell for other runners who had one lap left !!!
Never mind - switched on ipod & listened to the show... I couldn`t believe it. I just got round to the interview with Steve Jones - well the bit with Will Cockerill & I only to be told I have two laps to go. Well packed the ipod away and enjoyed these last two laps. I didn`t mind running but I didn`t mind finishing either - it was nice to be congratulated by Matt. I was handed the goodie bag and the most unusual `medal` I`ve ever received....
I stood around talking but I was getting cold - I had bought extra clothes & a thermos of coffee - I`m so glad I did. I`ve never got so cold after a race before. I sat in the car to defrost.
If you get a chance to enter a `TZ Runs` event then snatch it (& do buy a T-Shirt)
1) - 1m - 9:14(9:14/m) - 116cal
2) - 1m - 8:45(8:45/m) - 117cal
3) - 1m - 8:52(8:52/m) - 118cal
4) - 1m - 9:03(9:03/m) - 117cal
5) - 1m - 9:14(9:14/m) - 118cal
6) - 1m - 9:18(9:18/m) - 117cal
7) - 1m - 9:13(9:13/m) - 118cal
8) - 1m - 9:20(9:20/m) - 118cal
9) - 1m - 9:24(9:24/m) - 118cal
10) - 1m - 9:37(9:37/m) - 117cal
11) - 1m - 9:30(9:30/m) - 118cal
12) - 1m - 9:34(9:34/m) - 118cal
13) - 1m - 9:38(9:38/m) - 118cal
14) - 1m - 9:45(9:45/m) - 119cal
15) - 1m - 10:13(10:13/m) - 118cal
16) - 1m - 10:12(10:12/m) - 118cal
17) - 1m - 10:20(10:20/m) - 120cal
18) - 1m - 10:51(10:51/m) - 121cal
19) - 1m - 10:46(10:46/m) - 121cal
20) - 1m - 10:58(10:58/m) - 122cal
21) - 1m - 11:05(11:05/m) - 121cal
22) - 1m - 12:21(12:21/m) - 115cal
23) - 1m - 11:34(11:34/m) - 120cal
24) - 1m - 12:00(12:00/m) - 117cal
25) - 1m - 11:59(11:59/m) - 116cal
26) - 1m - 12:44(12:44/m) - 111cal
27) - 1m - 12:15(12:15/m) - 111cal
28) - 0.64m - 7:26(11:36/m) - 76cal
Finish time - 04:45:10
Final Garmin Distance - 27.64 M - opps but all good experience
(I`ll try to get the actual lap splits as they would be quite interesting to see)
Race Website / Results
Next up - a parkrun festive overload & (if the cold subsides) a `Sunrise to Sunset` Challenge on the 27th Dec.
Oh - The training plan for next year`s Thunder Run is coming on nicely :-)