Recommendations for my first marathon

East Anglia based please

13 messages
17/09/2011 at 17:36

I've been talking about doing a marathon for a while now, and next year will be the year to do it!  I'm not fast, my last HM time was 2:37, but am hoping to get round in under 5 hours with some help from my running club coaches.  The problem is, which one should I do?  I live near Norwich in Norfolk and don't want to travel to the other end of the country to do it and I really need one that isn't really hilly as I don't have any hills here to train on.

I've entered the VLM ballot, but as the chances are miniscule for getting in I thought it best to scout about and see what else is out there.  I know there is one at Bungay, but I've been told by someone who's done it (and read on here) that it has some tough hills in it   They've also brought in a time restriction this year and that concerns me a bit; don't want to be a mile or so away from the finish line and get pulled.

Does anyone have any suggestions that would be local to me?  Or, is it possible for a slow plodder who's not used to hills to be fit enough to do the Bungay marathon by the time it arrives?   I'm not planning on repeating the distance again, so I'd like to do a nice one!

17/09/2011 at 17:38
Halstead in Essex is an absoulte fav of mine, usually early May and the course is amazing,
20/09/2011 at 15:25
Ditto above and you'll also have a good 20 miler in your area to do before Wymondham.
20/09/2011 at 15:41
Thanks for that.  The Wymondham one is run by my club, so I'm sure the coaches will be expecting to see me do that one!
26/09/2011 at 12:27
My stock answer for a good marathon is Amsterdam in October - flat and well organised and easy to get to, no ballot and they have pacers
26/09/2011 at 13:05
musketeer wrote (see)
My stock answer for a good marathon is Amsterdam in October - flat and well organised and easy to get to, no ballot and they have pacers


Well that would certainly be flat!  Totally out of my budget in the current financial climate though

I had a look at the Halstead one, and from the profile thingy they've posted of the course it looks really hilly; even hillier than the Bungay one.  Guess I'll either have to keep looking

26/09/2011 at 13:19
Isnt there a Cambridge Boundary marathon? Although the distance varies slightly year to year and its multi terrain...
26/09/2011 at 13:36
Ah, just found that, after a bit of searching!  Not really sure I'm ready for a multi-terrain marathon though, I've not really done any off road running and I think I may have enough on my plate just getting up to distance    Thanks though
02/10/2011 at 16:42
And I was going to suggest, take a weekend trip to Berlin and run the marathon. It's the best I've ever run, by far!
03/10/2011 at 09:56
It doesn't matter now really, I got into VLM on the ballot so I'll be doing that one!! 
19/10/2011 at 21:41
Thankyou TST for the info about a time limit for Bungay. I was hoping to do that next April if my Norwich half goes well next month.

Its a 2 lap course for the full marathon. I know that as I used to live near Beccles although I am now Norwich based.
The first half of each lap is from Bungay to Beccles and that is where the hills are near Barsham. When you get past Beccles the return route to Bungay is north of the river waveney and is pretty flat. The lap is then repeated for those who want the full marathon.
Do you know what the time limit is?
20/10/2011 at 10:15
From memory I think the cut offs were 2:30 for the first lap and 5:00 to finish.  It tells you on their site somewhere in the marathon information though. 
02/11/2011 at 13:47
I'm thinking of doing the Edinburgh marathon as my first. It is downhill which should make things easier....

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