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Cornish Marathon

Sun November 19 2006 Listed by zingy
7 Entrants Club PB SB Pred Time WAVA
Boffin Fantastic race - one to be repeated for sure:) - Is a tadge on the hilly side though! Unaffiliated 3:54:07 3:54:07 3:54:07 53.14
derv Cornwall AC 3:06:40 3:22:06 3:25:00 3:22:06 63.48
paskha Cornish GP Race No.14 - This is one great marathon, lovely scenery over Bodmin Moor, but it's TOUGH!!  Please let me clock a time under 5 hours!!! ......... will update mid-Jan 07 .... have a long race report to post!------------------Phone alarm went off 5am … could NOT allow myself to put my head back on the pillow!! Another (clock) alarm went off a few minutes later …. Come on, GET UP!!!!!!!!

5:15am: the street looked a bit damp but I could see some stars & I couldn’t hear any wind … I had to make myself drink 500ml water as I’d failed to drink it last night (when I’d had a couple of glasses of wine …) so downstairs for a big cup of tea, gathering kit together, bfast of shredded wheat bitesize & banana at 6am, then ate a raisin cake nutrigrain about 8am travelling up.  Weather-wise it was looking good, bright, fresh, not too windy, but the forecast was for possible rain & gales! 

The 25L Karrimor rucksack is great, I can fit everything in … shoes, towel, toiletries, drink, food, change of clothes, buffs, gloves.  6:35am: I was at the front door waiting, I could see light in the sky, it looked promising … Brian (long blond hair) was picking up Phil R, John W & myself at 6:40, to drive to Hayle where we were meeting others & leaving at 7:15am in a 15-seater minibus.  Jackie Bowden driving; Andy Moore, Debbie H, John W, Jayne W, Lize, Tony H, Alan R, Sean W, Andy H, Craig & Jane, Faye, Phil R: 10 running, 4 supporting; there were more from Hayle making their own way to Pensilva …. Which was fortunate as the minibus wouldn’t start when they tried to set off to go round the course!  The AA were called, but then numbers were restricted for the return journey to just 6 or 7 …

8:40am: Pensilva Community Centre: greeted Ruth (Plodding Hippo) & Tim Rainey, then Selina (Shades) & K2 came up & introduced herself, when she saw my Fetch shirt (which I then had to change to my club vest) & Carol Rattigan & Bob Brown; met & chatted to lots of the usual Cornwall runners – Jen, Pam C, Revis, Sue Taylor & saw Mandy & Derek from 26.2 RRC (Surrey).

We’d got there quite early with plenty of time to change, chat & deposit items to go out on the course (for me: Mile 9: cake & raisin nutrigrain; mile 15: 500ml grapefruit squash; mile 21: banana). Then with less than 5 mins to go before the 10 o’clock start, all of us Hayle Runners lined up for photos; Jackie took a couple on my camera.  I shimmied my way through to get near the back of the pack, saw Linda T, who was also just going to be “getting round”.  

The hooter sounded & off we went to do two laps of the village = just over 2 miles … fortunately for me … as after running gently for 22 mins I needed to head back into the Community Centre for a “comfort break”!  Emma from Plymouth (plaits & two sparkly fluffy things sticking up on her head) went in too … but she was quicker, by the time I emerged she had disappeared up the road, never to be seen again!  So now I was right at the back … plodding up the road but hearing voices behind me, very gradually getting closer … it was 3 guys on road bikes (we spoke), who must’ve had a lovely day out on the moor, I saw them again a few hours later …

So the plan was to “get round”. I was quite happy about being at the back, warming up. It really was a lovely day … I spoke to every runner I passed, there were quite a few 100 marathon club vests & one was doing a fast walk early on.  Ran with K2 (Pauline, I think) during mile 3-4, where we could now see south & west across the moor & beyond, it really made you want to ENJOY the experience, with no worries about TIME.  For most of us, this is the best way to approach a marathon anyway, RELAX, walk the hills, take in the scenery … this is why I prefer a small field and the space & freedom of a hilly scenic single loop course.  And running a slightly faster pace from the very back made it even more enjoyable, as I would meet others …

The first five miles are part of the “out & back” section, so if you don’t know the course, you realise that whatever was DOWN going out, will be UP for the last 5 miles – and vice versa. Miles 6-10 have some steep ascents & descents on narrow country lanes, passing farms & clusters of one or two homesteads, along mostly tree-lined roads. There’s a long gradual climb up to the mile 10 marker (2:00:39), but it’s great to walk that bit coz this is where it opens up; now on the moor proper with fantastic views across Colliford Lake.  Somewhere in the early miles I passed Pat Seabrook & another older male she was running with … 

I’d caught up with Ruth (Plodding Hippo) just after my quickest mile so far (mile 7: 9:31) so I ran with her (walking the hills) for the next 3 miles (mile 8: 12:20; 9: 13:12; 10: 16:14), at one point gently ambling down the steepest descent on the course; I was glad of her company, having given up on a sub-5 hr time as I assumed I would be walking a lot in the later stages, it made sense to do some now. It wasn’t cold, the sun had been out, it was still bright but there were more clouds around now.  It was clear air, lovely moorland scenery: a rolling carpet of yellow, green & brown with rocky outcrops & squat spiky gorse bushes, sheep & woolly mammoth cattle. It didn’t seem windy … though there was a southerly / south westerly blowing which meant a tail wind for the gently undulating but generally ascending road to Jamaica Inn (2:57:40) just after mile 15 (mile 11: 10:50; 12: 10:28; 13: 10:26; 14: 11:23 I stopped at the top where the road bends for 20 secs, to look back at the view; 15: 11:02), and a headwind going down the Fowey Valley (with a cold fine rain shower when I was there), but not for long; as we got lower down, we were sheltered from it.  
I passed another 100 Marathon man, in mile 14, as I pushed on to get to Jamaica Inn for a 2nd “comfort break” … After a 4-5 minute “interlude” I was back on my own for the whole of the Fowey Valley stretch (6 miles), once I’d passed the same runner (walking) again.  I was running quite well, despite walking a bit in nearly every mile. (Mile 16: 9:36; 17: 9:12; 18: 9:20; 19: 10:17; 20: 10:35; 21: 10:23) The Fowey Valley is pretty: the Autumn colours; the tree-lined river flowing to the left of the road, tumbling over rocks as she goes … but it is more or less 6 miles of the same.  As I was approaching Mile 20 I saw two younger looking guys, so I waved as I passed them & pushed on.  Near the “corner” was the mile 21 water station & there were 5 runners, including the blind runner & his guide & Pam Carroll & male companion from Tamar Trotters.  Wow, Pam (FV60+) had done really well, as she told me she’d done precious little training, (her plan had been to run for a mile & walk for a minute).  So a little group of us reached 21 miles in just under 4 hours. 

As I had got to Mile 20 in 3:48, I had started to ALLOW myself to CONSIDER the POSSIBILITY of managing a sub-5 hr time!!  However, I knew I had done a similar time at this point LAST year, when I started seizing up!!  (then having to suffer the indignity of WALKING ALL THE WAY to the finish, being passed by nearly everyone behind me!)  I’d taken an ibuprofen in mile 16, as I was sure my legs were going to ache!  I still had plenty of oomph & I now had my banana!  I cheered Pam on as I set off to reel in the next two (male & female).  Then we were back on the road we’d come out on … going uphill, (mile 22: 10:48) then a fair bit of walking up to the VERY welcome MILE 23 marker (mile 23: 12:15) …  FANTASTIC!!! Time: 4hrs 22 mins … I started feeling emotional !!!  I was still running well … with lots of downhill now! I knew there were a few UPs, but I had 38 mins to do 3.2 miles !!!! … unless something stopped me now, I would get a sub-5hr time … 

… my mind took me back through all the years I’d been doing marathons … the CORNISH has been one of the biggest challenges … it might’ve been my FIRST in 1998, if I hadn’t been booked to have my varicose veins done!  As Autumn 1998 saw some of my best running … and I’d trained well & completed the Boxhill Ballbuster duathlon at the end of October (a total of 16 hilly miles running & 24 hilly miles cycling, I finished in 4hrs 35) … injury stopped me doing the Cornish in 1999 (I cycled round) AND 2000; 2001 was the first time I ran it & was my best time (5:07); since then I’d missed 2002 (sick all the previous day); 2003, (no lift arranged & I’d had ear-ache! If only I’d known I was going to be the ONE person to have completed EVERY Grand Prix event that year … Neil Tweedie was at Rilla Mill waiting to tell me! & I didn’t turn up!); 2004 (5:16) after not running for 4 weeks … & 2005 (5:24) when I had to walk from mile 21!  But there was more from the memory banks … the first time I got under 5hrs was at the Duchy 2001 (4:56) – although I had reached the marathon point at the Dartmoor Discovery 1999 in 4:55!!  However the main thing on this particular day was about my recent lack of confidence about being able to complete the marathon distance at all … 

Sheila Newman (FV50 Tamar Trotters) kept popping up in her car, stopping & grinning & yelling “YEAH, come on LIZ, you’re doing so well!!!”  I said “DON’T, I’ll be crying in a minute!”  I passed another 5 runners altogether … and just kept thinking, (THIS IS THE) WAY TO GO!!!!!!!  Mile 24: 9:39; mile 25: 11:26; mile 26 (sailing down the hill, I was so HAPPY): 9:01; last 0.2: 1:51 …. Finishing Time: 4:54:12.

I couldn’t help blubbing, everyone was so lovely, lots of people cheering me in, some I couldn’t think who they were! Others included Val Hawken & Jane T  & Jayne W who came & helped me in, which made me bawl all the more. It was so good to have the supporters, coz if you’ve just run a marathon … you have to get indoors, it’s not possible to stand around & cheer others in like at shorter races … clutching my space blanket round me & my medal, I found the other Hayle runners in the foyer.  Craig said, ”Well, did you get under 5 hrs?” so blubbing some more, I squeaked & nodded & I was congratulated with a big hug … I joined the queue for my pasty & tea, saw Jen, who was really excited for me, met the other Jenny, spoke to Sue T, who’d done a PB! … I was hungry! I really enjoyed my cup of tea although it looked really weak!  & slowly savoured the Ginsters & finally SAT DOWN!  

Feeling great about getting my confidence back was just brilliant.  Appreciating that I still can RUN & RUN A MARATHON, is something I don’t want to feel blasé about … there are always people who are injured or unable to run much (Revis, Selina, Ronnie to name just 3 today).  I am very fortunate.

After the awards presentation (gold coloured trophies: Phil R got one for coming 2nd MV60 & Hayle men’s team came joint 1st!!) seven of us left in Faye’s car (who was driving?) due to the minibus fiasco (only now realising how lucky we were to get there!) and the weather really did start coming in!  Rain, high winds … the solid estate vehicle was rocking from side to side!  The last leg of the journey was in Brian’s car back to Penzance, the day now a lot darker than when we set off this morning … here endeth another Sunday in the Life of a Runner!!!!

It wasn’t till much later I worked out it was the fastest second half of a full marathon I’ve ever run (2:16, after deducting pit stop) & also the fastest LAST 6.2 miles (65:24).  I will now consider my marathon performance & recovery in the context of these times … oh, and the fact that I passed 22 runners, tee hee!!!!!
      
Lize  ©	 Monday, 20 November 2006	17:04
1st Half: 2:33:30 less 4:30 = 2:29; 
2nd Half: 2:20:42 less 4:30 = 2:16:12
Mounts Bay Harriers 4:28:24 4:28:24 4:49:00 4:54:14 56.57
plodding hippo 100 Marathon Club 4:16:46 5:09:22 5:29:00 42.72
Self D Unaffiliated 3:13:32 3:30:04 3:30:04 58.53
Tango (Adam) Notfast Running Club, Votwo/USN 2:37:00 2:51:56 3:30:00 4:17:35 47.73
Yog-Sothoth Very tough day on the road - the Cornish Marathon is well deserving of it's fearsome reputation. I was secretly hoping for 3:15, but that just wasn't on after my overly quick first half. Around mile 21, just when you're almost spent, a series of nasty climbs drains your remaining life force, such that my legs nearly stopped working on the final (downhill) mile. Brutal!
Happily, I had enough sense to pass on the abomination that is the Ginsters Unaffiliated 3:10:17 3:18:53 3:20:00 3:21:01 63.82

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