PS the ascents measured 5500ft and the descents 5400ft, no wonder it was hard graft
I rolled my ankle just before Hawkeshead, but not as bad as you. Hurt enough for me to yelp like a puppy a few times though. In particular over the tree roots in the last four miles.
Endomondo recorded a measly 2200ft ascent. Yet measured a friends London marathon at over 5000ft. Some people will read those stats and wonder what I was doing wrong.
Managed sub 4hrs this time around, and with more off road training this time I was flying and loving the last 10k instead of hobbling with cramp.
For those complaining about the course being short - There is over 1000m ascent; it will be short on your Garmin because the GPS doesn't take into account the elevation.
I still maintain that really you need some off road experience on this run otherwise you are going to come a cropper as it appears some did on slippery rocks. Going up is easy coming down isn't!
Well, this was my first proper off-road marathon and actually also my first ever go at any sort of off-road running, as I figured it couldn't be that tough (based on the pics of the aforementioned mumsy runner trotting on nice shale paths!) so did all my training on tarmac. Ha ha ha.
I sprained my ankle last Wednesday, so was running heavily strapped up and in road shoes. I had originally entered the Race, but changed to the Challenge to give myself a bit more leeway if my dodgy ankle gave a lot of bother. Loads of people at registration and the start were giving me dire warnings about slippy rocks and dangerous terrain. That combined with the pre-race weather warning made me more and more apprehensive.
But I had an absolute ball! Despite the constant rain I was grinning like a loon the whole way round. Almost every marshal commented on how happy I looked, and I told everyone who asked that I was f***ing loving it! The miles flew by, I was utterly sodden through, my sparkly white trainers were black within the first two miles, but I was having so much fun I didn't even notice. Half way point crept up without me noticing, ankle held up okay, chatted to loads of other runners, cheered as the speedy Racers started passing at about 18 miles, was absolutely exhausted by 24 miles, couldn't even muster up the energy for a sprint finish and shuffled over the line in 5.35 or thereabouts. (So happy to finish I forgot to stop my Garmin, d'oh!)
Bloody amazing day. Will definitely be back next year!
I have done long distance bike races and my gps always falls short by the distance measured at the wheel, 1/2 mile missing on this run wouldn't surprise me.
2011 Garmin dist = 24.97
2012 Garmin dist = 24.90
In spite of the extra laps of the field at beginning and at end 2012 versus 2011.
My conclusion also Trees!
I'd certainly back up what Simon says about off-road training. I did what I could locally off-road but I wasn't prepared for the scrambling down rocks. It requires a level of confidence that I didn't have on the day. I shall practice more for next year and will hopefully have an advantage of now knowing the course and when to hold back/push hard.
My GPS recorded 24.54 miles.
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