Wolverhampton MarathonListed by Bodge
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|chrissybing||South Derbyshire Road Runners AC||3:53:58||3:53:58||3:53:58||53.39|
|herbies gone bananas||Unaffiliated||3:18:28||4:00:23||4:04:42||51.08|
|plodding hippo||100 Marathon Club||4:16:46||5:09:22||5:40:12||43.28|
This event is listed on these dates:
Using as a Training run for the Long Mynd event in October. Will be just thinking of the North Staffs League points for my group. A very good day enjoyed this 2 lap event the second lap not being to lonely as initially thought. Everything went to plan and came home in under 4:30 and legs don't feel to sore. Got a little crap in the last 2 miles but the last long slope did tak a little more effort than expected. On the points trail came home second in my league, so good points scored. Gave one Fetch shirt a cheer sorry didn't catch your name, you were doing the half.
Maiden Mara. Can't help but PB as long as I finish the sucker.
Updated finish time. Ankle problem means I have to stop training.
My nemesis marathon
Always 30 degree heat, Id done this twice before-in 6.04(second form last), and 6.10(last in 2005 the week after a 36 mile ultra)
There are sufficient undulations to make this a moderately tough course, and the 2 loops encompassing a half marathon too made for a potentially soul destroying experience
Suffice it to say, I was dreading this, especially with tired legs, and my only goal was to beat 6 hours.The weatehr was a little more forgiving.The previous days high winds and rain had given way to a partially cloudy day with sunny intervals and a maximum of 23 degrees.And we had a nice early 9.30 start
I spent a pleasant hour before the start of the race chatting to Mick n Phil, some 100 club members and Loon.As we lined up on the start line we were almost mown down by the cycle race completing their first loop of West Park-whoopsie!
So I shuffled along to the back, only to bump into Running for Beer(RFB), who had decided to do this at the last minute as a training run for Abingdon.He wanted to go between 11 and 12 minute miling.That seemed like a good plan to me.
And we were off.RFB was as good as his word, and kept a nice steady pace throughout.We chatted about ultras and marathons, and set the world to rights.I was feeling moderately uncomfortable, but hoped to make it to 9 or 10 miles without walking-which would be a first for this course.
Unfortunately-having done the course before, I had some idea of the inclines ahead.The first came at about 4 miles, and amazingly I did run all of it.Pace was a steady 11 minute miling, with the odd sub 11 minute mile.The route was through residential areas, and the locals looked at us bemused.Maybe it was too early for them.we then came onto a lrage stretch of main road, which included some nice down undulations as well as up ones.Yhis enabled me to run through my fuel shift, but unfortunately. I knew there was a climb at 8 miles in to Bilsbrook, and my pace slowed.I was determined to make the 9 mile marker without walking, but I was clinging so tightly to this idea, that once I reached the marker, my body refused to run.After checking I was ok, RFB continued on his nice steady trajectory.The next mile was a 13 minute mile, but I managed to reach 10 miles in1 hour 53-not too bad.A lot of the half marathoners were walking, some run walking, and many were struggling.The public here turned out in force,impromptu water stations, a hosepipe, and shouts of encouragement for all of us.Some of them commented in horror that I was wearing a full marathon number, and would have to go round again.I suppose they were worried because I was walking at such an early stage.But there wer down undultions as well as up, and so I ran when I could, and walked up the long slow drag of Claregate.Up the short sharp hill, and then back into town towards the park.As I came down the approach to the park, prior to looping it once more, I could see other marathon runners heading out on their second loop.As far as I knew,I was the last of these and about a mile behind them.The half marathoners split off, and I experienced a flash of regret as I turned left to circle the park.The lonely second lap had started.
Being a slow runner has its compensations though.On the other side of the park, I was delighted to see the first three lead runners coming home.I felt bad, but not THAT bad, and when I hit half marathon point in 2 hours 31, I reallised that barring a disaster, I should do a sub 6.All I had to do was reach 14 miles in under 3 hours, and then sustain 15 minuute miling to the end.When I reached 14 miles in 2.43, I knew that I could walk the rest of the way and get my sub 6.So now what?
We try to go faster!!!!!!!!!!!!
Or maybe not.
Running back through the residential areas, one wag quipped thatI was going the wrong way!.I was in no mood for jokes!.The marshals however, were all still there, and all still encouraging.I walked up the Aldersley hill second time round, and became aware of belly cramps.Now last year, I didn’t time this very well, and ended up being forced to walk until the portaloos at mile 21 because I didn’t seize the opportunity of a bush near the railway bridge..I wasn’t going to get caught out again------
When the bridge hove into view, I dived behind the bush, did what I had to do, and, thankfully, felt much better.Out onto the main road, I had hoped to make up some time on the downward bits.Unfortunately, the marshals were insisting that we run on the grass, which isnt my favourite surface.Ironically, if Id been further behind, as last year, this would not have been an issue.So, I did the best I could, and tried not to twist my ankle in the potholes.
Run walking along the grass, I spotted a frantically waving person.it was Joby!!!!!She has supported this race for the last 3 times I have done it.We had a walk and a chat for a few minutes, and I slowed down so much that the roving marshal on his motorbike asked if I was dropping out!
Whoops.We parted just on 20 miles, which I got to in 4 hour 9 mins.Not ideal, but not TOO bad.I wondered if I ight make sub 5.30, for a fleeting minute, but that would mean reliable sub 13 minute miling-and I knew there were hills to come------
And then I overtook a gentleman walking with difficulty.Ilooked into his eyes and knew he would finish, he had that look about him.Them to my susprise, on the indiustrial esate turn round, I spotted 3 members of the 100 marathon club-BEHIND me?????
I didn’t remember passing them!!!!!!!!.One was a blind runner, Paul, who had been at Longford, and whom I knew form previous mara.We waved to each other.So-I wasn’t last-and this kept me going.
Mile 21 involved running off the main road , down into an industial esate and round a bucket to make up the distance.The marshal apologised, and I just laughed, I remembered it from last year.The turnaround meant I saw the 4 people behind me just once more before I headed off towards Bilsbrook.
And now it was simply a case of how much below sub 6 I could do
Sub 5.45 seemed a real option, and I hoped for sub 5.40
There were uphills.There were downhills
I registered cheers at the pub on Claregate, and headed up the steep hill towards mile 25.
Just after this was the Newbridge pub.
I heard it before I saw it.The half marathoners, screaming, shouting and waving
“Come on Hippo”
Ok, it meant I did a 15 minute mile, but I had to stop and say hello, and take a sip of some unidentified drink.Mick ran a few yards with me as I entered the final stretch.The most soul destroying trek down a long road and then round the park yet again.My elated mood was quickly dipselled by a young Asian chap. who commented on how slow I was.Im afraid I gave him a mouthful in front of his extended family, who then gave me a round of applause.It meant I ran a bit more I suppose.
Where was the park entrance, where???????????
I wanted to make sure I ran the last 200 yards, so walked more than I should have to conserve energy
And at last I saw it
Missed 5.40 by 12 seconds-grrrrrrrrrrrr
Actually, it doesn’t matter
Course best by 24 minutes
Definitely not last
And I finished before the beer tent closed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This isnt the most scenic course, but this race gets better and better.thanks to the organiserd, the wonderful marshals and st Johns who paitiently encourages all the way round.Thanks to the Newbridge posse-you should hire yourselves out!!!!!Thanks to limper for texting me with encouragemnrt all the way round
Ive had to repeat this race because it has been my nemesis
Now I WANT to come back because it is a great event
Will be happy to beat the 5 hour mark. Would love to get somewhere nearer the 4 hour mark.
Thanks for the encouragement every one. Did better than hoped and that included a nasty trip over some metal in the raod which left my hands covered in blood ! Badger Bite and the Bells next then.