Monday, 24 May 2010


I've tried for a few years now to get a sub 3 marathon, and I've always wondered what it would feel like once I did.
Well, now I know. It's a combination of elation and agony.
I've seen a couple of different reports about yesterdays race that put the temperature between 21 or 25 - but out there on the road it felt a lot LOT hotter.
I'd like to say that I had a plan yesterday and that the race went to that plan and everything just fell into place - but that would be a lie.
While I'm more than happy with my time it was for me what has become a bit of a "signature" race. Paced all over the place, ugly, painful and disorganised.
The "plan" I did have was actually to go for 2:55. So that meant in an ideal world mile splits of about 6:41 (a pace I feel comfortable with in normal conditions). Anyway, what the plan didn't take into account was the sun having his hat on hip-hip-hip-hooray!

First couple of miles were a bit [too] fast and I was off pace already. Did slow down slightly at one point going along the prom at Portobello (6 mile mark ) where volleyball nets had been put into the sand and there was a ladies beach volleyball game going on - always been one of my favourite spectator sports !
From there to be honest I'd like to give a blow by blow account of the race. But I really can't remember that much about it to be honest. It was just a case of head down and get on with the job in hand.
Took a little bit of water at every stop and likewise took a little bit of energy drink at every station where that was available.
Passed through the Pans where Anne and Ian were marshalling feeling good. Past Seaton sands and then into the grounds of Gossford House.
To be honest I felt really good right up till about the 22/23 mile mark .... then the wheels fell off. Sudden retching and the fluid contents said "goodbye stomach" and "hello pavement". Picked up the speed again, though still a bit slower than previously, but the last mile was a slow one, again with the old stomach giving me a bit bother.
Luckily I'd "got enough in the bank". Turned into Musselburgh racecourse onto the mats up to the finish line knowing I'd done it.
For once I think there will be a photo of me crossing the line looking happy! 2:59:11 !!

All in all I was very impressed with the organisation of the marathon this year. Having the baggage buses and "village" out on Pinkie playing fields really made sense.
Got my gear, got changed and then started making my weary way back up the road to meet Anne and Ian at the Pans.
Stopped off at the wee Post Office out by Mrs Foremans for something cold. Looked in the fridge and noticed Ice Poles. I cant remember the last time I had one of those, but on a day like yesterday it was just the ticket. I'd completely forgotten that the shop is owned by Ian Wood of Musselburgh running club - so free ice pole! Top man.
When I got to where the others were marshaling the crowds were still swarming through and you could tell that a lot of people were really suffering in the heat.
Crowds were great though with lots of impromptu water stations set up and garden hoses and sprinklers set out in the road to cool the runners down.
Marshals and first aiders really had their work cut out for them though.
It didn't bother me too much - but I still question the the idea of having an 8:00 half marathon start and leaving the marathon runners till 10:00 to start.

Anyway. That's it. "Job done". Sub-3 obtained.
Immediate plans are to recover, then get back to enjoying running for a wee while (10ks and halfs etc). But what next? Well, I'd like to do it again, but a bit more comfortably.


sandy wallace said...

V.well done stuart. A great time on a difficult day. Welcome to the club. Sub 2.50 club next ?

pb said...

Excellent job on a difficult day, very well done (at last)

Yak Hunter said...

Great to do it on a difficult day. Means you know you've got a much faster one tucked away for that day of ideal conditions! No pressure though...

Ray said...

Well done Stuart, all the hard work has paid off. If you want to try a marathon with a difference, how about the Cape Wrath Challenge? It's almost guaranteed to be cooler up there.