Introducing the fourth member of our ASICS Target 26.2 team - Lee (aka Choisty) With Virgin London Marathon Championship qualification as hi...
Just chipping in to say I had the great pleasure of watching Lee finish. The look of determination and focus as he gunned it down the last 50m and the one of elation as he crossed the line were soemthing to behold! Great to have been part of the whole project
Will have to break the news to my husband that he wasn't first Brit after all
Lee, Jayne took a couple of photos of Jeff after the race as I didn't have a camera. Would be great if she could email them to me for my blog. Thank you!
Thanks again for the kind words, Sam I will send them over no worries.
Now on with the report, it's long and winding...but it is for a marathon!
Mile 1 (6:14) While there were plenty of runners around as we went down the champs élysées it was possible to run at marathon pace. I kept checking my watch was it the right pace? Yes bang on, no too fast, oops too slow, but mostly correct.
Mile 2 (6:10) I was now starting to get into my running, feeling good and passing people regularly and at this time started to pass some of the wheel chair racers who went off 5 mins ahead. Still checking my watch but pretty much happy with the pace.
Mile 3 (6:06) Just as we came to the place de Bastille where the crowds were very vocal, I came up to the back of a group and settled into that pace as it felt perfect, I would now follow them for the next 7 miles. This was the first water station, so I took a bottle and then gulped down 3 mouthfuls, despite needing to pee, this would last the rest of the race. The 5km split was 19:24
Mile 4 (6:06) Still feeling good and in the groove with group, the two guys at the front happy to take a stiff breeze, albeit as we flowed down hill
Mile 5 (6:00) A few minor undulations slowed the pace slightly and I was no longer keeping an eye on the watch just running comfortably, this was excellent.
Mile 6 (6:07) We were out of Paris and into Bois de Vincennes and going past the zoo, everything felt good and I was happy to stay at the back of the group and be pulled along, slotting in again after taking another water. This time I spotted the bins which had a backboard to throw at which I hit bang in the middle. As if by magic Steve appeared we exchanged a few words as everything was going well and staying on plan before he dropped back to catch Colin. 10km in 38:34, last 5km in 19:10.
Mile 7 (6:11) As we went around the park, I remember thinking “I got lost here on a dark February evening and felt like crap” how different things were now, completely in control romping along.
Mile 8 (6:05) Still in the park, I had been warned the crowds were often sparse, far from it they were there and gave you their full support which added to the feeling of euphoria as I continued to feel great.
Mile 9 (6:04) Still in the park feeling good as we pasted the athletics stadium still cranking out the same smooth pace without any issues or feeling in the least fatigued. As we approached the water station I took the first gel, as I moved out picking-up a bottle the rest of the group went straight on ignoring the water. I must have accelerated as when I moved back across I had made 10m on them, decision time do I drop back or push on? Whilst deciding I hit another bin and that was 2 from 2. 15km in 57:44 Last 5km in 19:10, now that is even pace.
Mile 11 (5:53) My favourite mile of the race still in the park, the crowds were thin so I could spot Jayne, Sam & Alex easily, this was a real boost and put a renewed spring in my step producing the faster mile of the race.
Mile 12 (6:04) Back on the pace track, however for the first time I noticed my Garmin miles and the course miles were about 200m out and my Garmin was going off first, so I need to make sure I had something in hand for the end. At the end of this mile we exited the park and onto the first set of cobbles, not too bad. Another drink was taken and I feeling good as I hit the bin that was 3 out of 3. 20km in 1:16:42 last 5km 18:58.
Mile 13 (6:07) very exciting this as we edged toward halfway, but I entered these next two miles with a little trepidation as on my training run in February this felt like a hard climb that dragged on. In reality this mile was downhill if anything, I must have really struggled that night.
Mile 14 (6:06) Halfway came and went and I went through 10secs ahead of plan in 1:20:50, I have never run this consistently or close to plan ever in my life, I go off to hard then hold on, Steve talk at the start was working. By this stage we made it back to the place de Bastille where the last 400m did have a slight incline.
Mile 16 (6:04) The Runner’s World crew were on the roadside just past Notre Dame and they were very loud giving me another boost pushing me to catch a further group. Another Gel went down this time without water, not easy but it helped.
Mile 17 (6:17) All of a sudden things seemed a little harder, not hard but a little harder, but hey the finish was less than a Monday night session at my running club, bring it on. We were still running along the Seine and the Eiffel tower was in sight.
Mile 18 (6:12) Arrgh! Underpasses, who put them in the course, they are the Devil’s work plain and simple. The first was nearly a mile with not much to see and no air movement a terrible experience. The drink station here was in a shop lined street again I took a bottle three gulps but this time over cooked the throw straight into a shops plate glass window, 3 from 4.
Mile 19 (6:13) More underpasses, 4 in all not as long as the first but down and up, one after another, I couldn’t wait for them to be over, but then they were, sweet relief. 30km in 1:55:03 last 5km in 19:23
Mile 21 (6:10) Into Bois de Boulogne and into the teeth of the wind, it was now getting hard to keep the pace up into the wind and there was nobody to hide behind, hampered still further by rather unforgiving cobbles. Push-on you only need to stay below 7min/mile and you’re there I kept telling myself. I picked up water this time hitting the bin to make 4 out of 5, Jonny Wilkinson percentage I thought.
Mile 22 (6:32) The wind was now severely hampering progress, but I was still strong pushing on trying to keep to a reasonable pace, it was this point that I took the third and final gel, this time caffeinated. I seriously recommend these, after a few minutes I felt like I was floating and much of the fatigue was masked. 35km in 2:14:48 last 5km in 19:45.
Mile 23 (6:18) A combination of turning a corner and having the wind at our backs and the gel kicking in produced a faster mile at just the right time, I was feeling good once more as we passed Longchamp horse racing circuit.
Mile 24 (6:29) Turning back into the wind was a painful experience as the pace again slowed and the guy who was leading the group I was with from miles 3 – 7 sailed past, this time alone. This was also the last water stop, which I took advantage of despite knowing I didn’t need to again making the shot into the bin 5/6 not bad accuracy if I do say so myself.
Mile 26 (6:38) Still into the damn wind, but I had realised that I would make it come what may so subconsciously I took my foot of the gas a little. Despite this I caught and passed the chap who led the group earlier and a Clapham Chaser, helping me to 3rd Brit. I knew where I was as we had walked this part of the course in the morning; I kept the sprint for the last 200m
Finish 26.1 (5:40 pace) I pushed as hard as I possibly could sprinting, well running a bit quicker but it felt like flat out sprinting to finish to cross the line in 2:43:59 on the right side of a minute for once!!! I shouted and punched the air in delight, then there was Sam for a massive hug and the celebrations had started.
Thrilling write up Lee - and what a disciplined run! Wow that is text book stuff.......
Lee - loved your report!
You thoroughly deserved your result and you are one of lifes really lovely people. Thanks for your compacy on this journey! x
Fantastic detailed report and again great race to become Runner's World quickest ever super 5 or 6 runner. I always knew you had the ability to run sub- 2:45 but wasn't always sure you had the disclipline to achieve it!However, I knew when I saw you at 10k and then again at 17K within seconds of what was required, I relaxed myself as was sure (as sure as can be when there is the matter of running 26,2 miles) you were going to do it.
Everyone involved has done really well this year so congrats to all five runners (and their partners), Asics (Stacy), Runner's World, Ruth, Sarah, Viktor etc, those who have been on any of the five forums and given encouragement and possibly even the coaches - though this year was relatively very easy!
However the support and encouragement part is a relative doddle to actually running 26.2 miles under the spotlight like this and Lee, Colin, Rosie, Craig and Emma have all done a fantastic job from December to April.
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