Sub 3

For anyone trying to crack the 3 in any marathon anywhere in the world

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04/11/2012 at 23:30

Paddams and CW superb runs! Inspiring to read. your 1st places deserve big congratulations.

Joolska and LS21 well done at the xc nationals - great work from the pair of you.

Wardi / RS / Al_P and others excellent park and shorter runs.

Njord brilliant race report and performances that day. Love your approach to running! Truly inspirational. No-one can call themselves a runner until they've had to crap outdoors etc. etc.

Apologies if I've missed others out.

So I'm half-tempted to go for it Feb / March. Anyone know anything much about the marathons at:

Rotterdam (Njord?)

Edited: 04/11/2012 at 23:30
05/11/2012 at 08:16

HR - Barcelona is fantastic as I (and Dan) have described a few times before! My favourite marathon of the dozen or so I've done.

05/11/2012 at 08:46

Padams - congrats on the win, you're flying at the moment

CW  - Nice tactics and congrats, interesting info about the my.

Jools - well run at the nationals and sounds like a fun long muddy run in Bristol.

Njord - Wowwers.

Wardi - Another great parkrun, congrats on the win.

Jap - Tough luck on NY, sounds like you could do with a rest though.





05/11/2012 at 09:13

Like the Barca recommendation Paddams have never been to the city. My only concern is that I'm going to crank it up for a serious crack at sub 2h50 I'd ideally like a fast course, so next question is did you notice the inclines much? Do you think that's a factor at all? I've lost my Devon training legs now that I run in London.

Talking of which, my day off so off out for a long run.

05/11/2012 at 09:23

HR - I would say Barca is at least as fast as London. There are no real inclines (worst is the last km, which is probably a gradient of about 2%, if that), less congested than London, and a much more enjoyable route to distract you from the pain! Plus it's logistically easy so you won't have any hanging around/travelling on the morning of the race.

05/11/2012 at 09:29

Congrats Padams and CW. Solid wins!

We had our county senior cross country championships yesterday. Our club won it for the first time and quite comfortably too. We beat our rivals by about 20 points. First time for me doing a xc race and it was every bit as tough as I was warned. Good fun though! Finished the 10k in just over 39 minutes in 16th.


05/11/2012 at 10:15

Thanks Paddams. I'm seriously tempted!

05/11/2012 at 10:18

Congrats Padams (inside my pb off a relaxed run!) and CW on the wins!

Njord - brilliantly nuts as always.

Congrats on the pb Al_P!

And nice parkrunning Wardi, and RS78.

And nice relay work from Jools and LS21.

I got caught on the hop by the weather yesterday morning. I went out pretty layered up, but got completely soaked in the first few minutes, and then shortly afterwards the wind picked up and the temp suddenly dropped and the rain picked up even more. Combine that with the fact I was only jogging (and therefore not generating much heat) and also have a cold, by the time I got home I was probably bordering on mild hypothermia. Not nice. It took ages to feel normal again. Still, what doesn't kill you

05/11/2012 at 11:04

‘CharlieW’ – Congratulations for the win but who are you, and what have you done with the real CharlieW?  Not a single mention of injury niggles, blister plasters held in place with corn starch, or reprogrammed Garmins wired into secret Russian satellites and powered using Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems contained within hollowed-out running shoe soles.

Padams – Congratulations also.  Unlike above, no doubt it was you posting – big bike miles, limited running training, race times I can only dream of.  Superb!

Home Run - I’ve run Rotterdam twice: 2:42 for 124th out of 7878 finishers in 2010, and 3:06 for 580th out of 7338 finishers in 2011.  Thoughts:   

  • Medium size marathon with a decent amount of company for the sub-3 runner.
  • Can be windy - the risk you take when running somewhere so flat.
  • Fast course.  A few minor slopes:  one bridge that you cross twice and an underpass.
  • Fairly decent crowd support all the way round (better than Amsterdam, not as good as Berlin/London)
  • Rotterdam is a modern industrial city rebuilt after being flattened by the Luftwaffe during WW2.  Plenty of decent [smoke-filled] bars around with lots of live music, but not much to offer the city break tourist.
  • Easy to get to from UK, either direct to Rotterdam airport, or to Amsterdam Schiphol and then a train ride of 40 minutes or so.


I’m fortunate enough to work for an Anglo-Dutch company whose corporate HQ is 100 metres from the start/finish line.  On the day of the marathon (and associated 10K), they provide food/drink/masseurs/showers for any of their employees who are taking part.  This played a big part in my decision to run there – plenty of people I know, and a very comfortable and convenient base on the day of the race.

Definitely a good choice for someone focused 100% on running a PB.  If that drops to 95%, then I’d go with Barcelona

Edited: 05/11/2012 at 11:07
05/11/2012 at 12:19

Njord nah I'd never use kinetic energy recovery -- it would be a parasitic loss from my running performance! (I did have a blister patch, but it disappeared somewhere into my drenched sock -- no harm done though.)

TT -- I think I was a bit hypothermic too. I turned around in my cool-down realising I was just going to do some damage to icy muscles, and was a shivering wreck at race HQ; then put on so many layers I eventually got too hot cycling home, and felt quite peculiar for some time too...

B_Kins nice XC result by the sound of it. If you had similar weather then that was a bit of a baptism of fire (or rather water, as is more traditional for baptisms) for your first one.

Legs are a bit stiff this morning but not too bad (I suppose I was only really running hard for about half my race). Felt horribly sluggish when I did a few extra miles on the bike though, so I've not escaped some fallout from the assorted insults I threw at my body yesterday.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/11/2012 at 12:25

Some decent racing going on at the weekend, especially the pot-hunting from padams & CW

Just back from two weeks family holiday in Florida, so the last two weeks of ballbuster training consisted of running on some of the flattest terrain on gods earth, and several glasses of Sam Adams Octoberfest, one of the finest brews on the planet.  Lovely stuff.  Runs were OK, I've still not got a huge amount of speed back after long distance triathlons this summer, but there you go.  Much of it was in the dark of early morning to avoid mucking up family plans for the day, but the roads are well-lit enough.

Next weekend should be fun, I ran around the course yesterday and the it was awash, impossible to avoid wet feet on the roads and the exit from the transition area is a quagmire.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/11/2012 at 12:46

Bargain of the holiday was picking up some Vibram Bikila LS for 60 USD, looking forward to trying those out at some point.

05/11/2012 at 14:14

CD - pot-hunting, how dare you! Actually I had to rush off so no idea what my prize was, if there was one. It was the county champs though, so I am the Herts champ at the very least.

The tranistion area of the Nadbuster is the one thing that would put me off doing it again. Mount the bike with very muddy socks or cleats filled with mud? Not a decision I really want to have to make.

Sounds like you had a good time in Florida. Did you see the bike split from the IM winner there last weekend?!

05/11/2012 at 14:29

Nice work on the XC relays, LS21 & Jools.

Padams - easing up to finish a second outside my PB.  How very considerate.    Excellent work fella!

CW - Fantastic victory, charging through the field.

B_Kins - congrats on the club victory.

In the spirit of NadBuster sort-of tapering I did a bit over the weekend, but a bit less than the previous weekend - 50 miles on the bike Saturday and 16 running yesterday, all fairly leisurely. Spin class at lunchtime today, planning a curtailed interval session tomorrow and then taking it fairly easy after that.

Cheerful Dave wrote (see)


Next weekend should be fun, I ran around the course yesterday and the it was awash, impossible to avoid wet feet on the roads and the exit from the transition area is a quagmire.

Oh joy.

05/11/2012 at 15:11

Njord - Forgot to say (sorry, it's Monday...) even by your standards, that's a cracking race report.  The time-travel element adds a certain delicious bonkers-ness.  You've excelled yourself there. 

05/11/2012 at 15:39

PP - my official time was 1s quicker than the time I reported above I'm afraid!

Looking forward to seeing the Nadbuster results this weekend, hope it stays dry from now until then.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/11/2012 at 16:20

They may re-route it PP, we used to have a slightly different (but narrower) route from transition to the main road.  The problem they have is that the exit was the main (only) route for vehicles onto Donkey Green for the Olympics, and got churned up a lot over the wet summer.  It hasn't really recovered since.  If it doesn't rain too much between now & sunday it'll be OK.

padams, 4:04!  That's some going.  Looks like he was getting caught pretty quickly at the end, but had done enough. 

Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/11/2012 at 16:26

Very much a cyclists course though, there are people running the marathon in over 4 hours but still finishing sub 10.

05/11/2012 at 16:29

Great wins from padams and Charlie. I think padams' 'easy jog' was quicker than my 10k pace....

Nice 14 miler from AW, and hope HR as had a good long 'un. I quite fancy Barcelona Mara one day based on the recommendations of padams and Dan, but not next year.

Top XCing from B_Kins and hopefully TT has warmed up a bit!

Sounds like CD had a top holiday too.

After my heroic exploits of Saturday's XC Relay I did a bit longer run yesterday. 13.5 miles in the mud. My legs didn't like it one bit. In fact they got a bit Elvis on me. So I'll be knocking owt in double figures on the head for bit. Time to chill, tick over with a few runs of 60 mins or so and enjoy the XC season.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/11/2012 at 16:46

I've just entered the Richmond Half Marathon, entries are again open ridiculously early but there you go.  Interestingly it's the same day (5th May) as the Richmond Park Marathon, which starts an hour later.  With a quick word to the organisers about starting the marathon a little after everyone else a double might be on...

(No, I'm not tempted!)

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