How's everyone doing?Click here to see how mileage is accumulating for the participants in this event
|herbies gone bananas||Unaffiliated||3:18:28||4:00:23||4:00:23||51.99|
|Mr Peru||Ealing Eagles Running Club||3:46:08||3:46:08||3:46:08||55.27|
|ogee||100 Marathon Club, South London Harriers||3:10:24||3:26:00||3:41:00||57.04|
|plodding hippo||100 Marathon Club||4:16:46||5:09:22||5:37:34||43.62|
This event is listed on these dates:
More uncharted territory
Five marathons in 5 weeks.
But I was almost positive about this one.My legs had done more than recover from New Forest-they even felt springy.And the knowledge that Id been able to give a little rather than fall apart during the closing stages of the last marathon lullled me into a false sense of security.
On the other hand-this is a fairly tough course on which I had amazingly managed a sub 5.30 last year.And the field was much smaller-it was highly likely I would be doing a lot of solo running.
We had booked in to the Bull Hotel in Llangefni as it was so nice last year, and planned to eat there too.before dinner, we drove around the course.Big mistake-it terrified me.I had had no idea of the hills last year, and had just got on with them.Selective memeory would have blocked them out after 12 months, but I now knew exactly where each hill was----------
So we had a nice meal and a few drinks in the Bull.
Im fact Mr Hippo had a bit more than was good for him--------------
Race day dawned
The hotel was actually able to do an early breakfast-which was lovely, and then it was off to the Mona showground.Mr Hippo went back to the hotel and to bed(tee hee).At 8.45, the big cattle shed was already busy with runners queuing for the toilets and registering.I collected my number and chip, and went to get a coffee.Then I met HTA-who was pretty well the only forumite I saw all day-apart from a brief “hello” to Geraint, whom we tracked down by locating his name and number from a list at registration.No, this wasnt going to be a wildly. social event.Just as well actually.I was inexplicably nervous-and felt really sick.Id had 5 loo visits back at the hotel, and was really quite concerned about my guts(I MUST get this IBS sorted).
But it was soon too late to do any more than pray-and we all shuffled out to the start line in the heavy drizzle.HTA showed me the correct way to get the 205 to acquire a signal-immobilise it against a railing-well-it DID work!
Oh right-we are off---------------
Oh yeah right, where’s the start line-BEEP-God they are going a bit fast here!
And within a matter of minutes I was right at the back, 10 minute miling!
At first I was running with a male and female who told me they were doing this as a training run for Amsterdam-and possibly dropping out at 20 miles.They were FAR too bouncy(the bloke appeared to need to relieve his bladder every mile, and kept leaping off the road, and the girl was seemingly totally oblivious to the traffic- running in the middle of the road)
Not very relaxing!
I let them go on ahead as we started the first climb at 3 miles-at which point I overtook Brent from the 100 club-nice to see him.
Across the well marshalled roundabout and past the first water station.Still didn’t feel settled, and the couple ahead dodging all over the road werent helping my concentration.
I wasn’t running that slowly-and in fact hit 5 miles in 53 minutes.Just befoe 6 miles, a lady just in fornt of me veered off down a side roaodShe wasn’t concentrating, as she was chatting on her mobile-and I had to rescue her.She ws running slightly faster than I was, but seemed keen to chat—by this I mean she asked questions and I gave monosyllabic answers.I let her get ahead.This would be a lonely marathon, and I needed to focus----
I hoped to get to 11 or 12 miles without walking-and knew that there was a tough hill around 7 miles, which is where I had walked last year.
That hill came.I overtook the chatty lady again, who was walking.To be honest, I think I could have got up that hill quicker walking, but I was determined not to!
I managed the hill somehow, without slowing down THAT much as there was a nice downhill to compensate.The rain had stopped by now, and it began to get warm.Chatty lady caught up with me again, and it transpired she was a Pharmacist from Wales.We had a good discussion about runners trotts and marathon running.Nice to know pharmacists abuse Immodium too-though I wouldn’t take SIX before a race!
I hit 10 miles in 1.50, and by now was struggling a bit.It didn’t help that my phone started to ring, and even when I didn’t answer-the 901 feature means it rings again and again.By 11 miles Id had enough and started walking to see who it was(Ultra Hamster checking up on me!)
Chatty lady went on ahead, and I settled down to run walk-alone at last!
There did seem to be a long slow climb here, and maybe it was as well I was walking some of this.The sun was really quite hot now, and I felt tired.I had been hoping to get to half way in under 2.30(aka a rehearsal for the Cardiff marathon cutoff), but the hill was a bit much, and I didn’t get there until 2.32.Never mind-eleven miles with no walking is a first for this year.
The magic 14 miles was reached in 2.44(a downhill!), and I now knew I could do a sub 6.
A silver car tooted at me-and I was shocked to see hubby!.It isnt usual for him to support me on the course, but he had turned out with some flat coca cola.Most welcome.
I got to 15 miles in 2.58-still 12 minute mile pace, but now I was badly slowing in the heat, and I knew there were more hills to come.I wasnt going to get any quicker!
Now it was a long slow drag up into Newborough and Llangaffo.The marsahls and sponge station cadets were lovely-sympathising about the hot weather, and telling me I was doing well.I was still able to run short sections , but will admit that I walked pretty well all of the hill up to Llangaffo, posting a 16 minute mile up to mile 17.
Although there were single figure miles to go, I knew that the hard work was only just starting.
Normally, I am delighted to get to 16 miles, and a single figure mile countdown.But Id driven the course the day before-and knew what was coming.And it was just too bloody hot.There didn’t seem to be any air at all!
A brief downhill at mile 18 followed by another climb.I ran walked as I felt able-and realised I was catching two people up.
At mile 20(4.13)-were the couple doing the training run(who had decided to carry on), and another chap .Thety were having a pause at the water stop-but all I could see was a downhill-and off I went.Chappie doing training run overtook me soon after-not looking at all as though he had done 20 miles!
I was very glad when he disappeared into the distance-it was getting tough to hold things together.But there was now a lovely downwhill along a main road, and I was catching people up
Hubby reappeared along the main road-at least I was running at this point-and I overtook chatty Welsh pharmacist and another lady who was obviously injured.Amazingly-there seemed to be water and energy stations at each mile-I was sloshing!!!!!!
Run, keep running for as long as you can-for at mile 23 there is THAT hill, which I walked up all of last year, and really struggled just walking.I was determined to run tiny sections of it this year.This is not a nice bit of the course.It is along the A5, and the cars are not as forgiving as on the B roads.To make matters worse, the rain had made the road very slippy at the edge-on occasions I was walking for safety reasons.but I DID run sections of THAT hill, and am proud to report sub 15 minute miles for that section.The marshals were still at the nasty double roundabout interchange to guide me over with a smile.
And then the long road to Gwalchmai, along which I knew there was another hill.I hit mile 24 in 5.08, and contemplated sub 5.30.Eleven minute miling-uphill???????
Just do the best you can
Cars on the other side of the road were hooting and shouting encouragement-lucky runners who had already finished.This was no triumphal finish for me though.It was merely a hard slog to the end, made worse by having to go through a huge inflataable arch which was not the finish!!!
Another 200 metres-and it was all over.
Fifth marathon in 5 weeks, and Id got faster over the last 3 weeks
I find it hard to believe I managed sub 5.30 here last year
Im not negative, just realistic
One cannot expect reasonable times against a backdrop of multiple marathons like this
But maybe I was a little disappointed not to get near last year’s time
That having been said-this is a superb little race with excellent organisation
And maybe next year I will mention the scenery!!!!!!!!!!!!
superb race really well organised hilly second half but not impossibly so! A good challange and very rewarding scenery lovely too...
New PB. Previous was 3.32
DNF. About 20 miles. No energy. First time. Cannot understand this.
In assessment. Obviously not the correct preparation.