Made up for you Fergster, superb effort.
Well done BT, very gutsy to rally to sub-5 under the circumstances. I think with the illness in the background, 99% of people would have just taken the DNF. And a sprint finish to boot!
I would have DNSed. So you were 26.2 miles more impressive than I would have been.
Well done Fergster!
Just got back from a nice walk to the pub Legs not feeling as bad as earlier, ice cold bath helped.
Will try to post some kind of race report tomorrow from what I remember
BT, it was pure bad luck that you weren't 100% today - clearly the infection hadn't completely gone, and you managed a really strong performance under the circumstances. You also have plenty of chance to impress yourself in the next few weeks You'll ace 4:30 next time with all those miles under your belt. (Also, you are a bit mad and rather amazing to add 8K to that - I couldn't move after my last marathon, let alone walk more than 4 steps to the loo.)
Fergster, that's an awesome time, very, very well done. Well earned cider and chill out time!
Scott, great stuff, well done! Bet you're really chuffed to beat your target so convincingly.
Right, grab a cuppa - Sunderland City Half Marathon Report:
6am, 'B' Race day. Wide awake. Mr Mad also wide awake on the day of his first ever race (he has been running since January and decided to do the 10K).
This was the first time I was going into a race day with no idea what I was going to do. It didn't feel entirely comfortable, but was looking forward to a day out with the club and a test of the training to see if marathon target was on. Picked up and on the bus with some rather jittery club-mates, we wound each other up a bit more. Oops.
Arrived at the Stadium of Light to much excitement from some football fan clubmates. I was thoroughly underwhelmed, as someone who really doesn't appreciate football, but was amused on the start line when someone said they probably should be wearing a Newcastle shirt to instigate some help from friendly 'pacers' who attack from behind.
10am: Waved off the 10K-ers, feeling maternal. Several of them were doing their first race, one of the reasons I love my club is that everyone is so supportive of newbies, and it was lovely to see all the mix of excitement and nervousness on their faces - I remember it really clearly from a few years ago!
10:15am: Realised I had lurked around being misty-eyed for too long and forgotten to warm up. Hastily jogged half a mile and threw a few strides in on the way to the start line. Ended up in a little gaggle of Sunderland Strollers who all looked speedy and assured. Felt very midgety surrounded by long, muscular guys and wondered if I was too far forward - no pace zones and no official pacers, but then spotted someone with a label on his back saying 'follow me to run 100mins'. He also had a label saying 'Harry'. Took it as a sign (the number, not the fact he was called Harry), and decided on the spur of the moment to stay with him as long as I could (target had been anything between 1:40 and 1:44). General mutterings and stirrings at the front, and eventually we were off, possibly. I hate starts. I'm never far enough forward to know if we actually have started or not. Anyway, seemed we had, so shuffled over the line and hit start on my watch going over the first timing mat.
Stuck with Harry for a few miles feeling fairly controlled. 7:30 for each of the first 4 miles. Caught up with Harry on a downhill slope at 5K and told him I was barging in on his pace-train. He explained that some of his club mates had begged him to pace them, then buggered off ahead. He was anticipating dragging them out of the gutter in the last mile or two. Dropped back a little when they started hitting 7:15s, too fast for me, but kept him in sight. 6 miles, there is a long out and back, I remembered feeling amazing at that point last year, and realised that I was working rather hard for not yet halfway. Time for P&D stamina to be tested. 10K in a new PB... Suicidal, perhaps, but exciting to know a big 10K PB could be on the cards soon.
Halfway in 49:48, coincidentally exactly the same as the former 10K PB I had just muellered.
Someone shoved a bottle of lucozade at me around 7 miles which made me remember I'd left the shot bloks I'd intended to test mid-race in my bag. Oops. Shoved the lucozade back at the marshall looking a bit blank. Someone popped up over a wall and congratulated me on becoming a Grandma - not sure if they were in fact talking to someone else, or were just off their head on something
9 miles. Goosed. Heard a familiar voice shouting my name. 9.5 miles, spotted owner of said voice - club mates all waving, shouting and pointing cameras at me. Managed a distressed grimace in their direction.
10 miles - another out and back. Spotted Aly Dixon breezing along to the finish, then not a huge amount further back, a good local club runner who comes to my home Parkrun. Had kind of given up on the 1:40 by now, but suddenly spotted Harry in semi-striking distance and did a bit of maths. Realised I could possibly still squeak in just underneath 1:40 if I could hang on. Dug deep.
11 miles. Park. Irritating but well-meaning spectators holding out Jelly Babies.
12 miles. Pant. Wheeze. Groan.
800m to go. Touch and go for target. Small slope, shouty clubmates. Shuttup, busy.
200m to go. Smug-faced Mr Mad shouting something or other. Wasted a second or two trying to work out wtf he'd said about seals (turned out to be something very random about steel that would only make sense to people who know previously mentioned loud-voiced club member). Trying really hard to find a sprint finish, glanced at watch which said 1:39:5x - flew over the line and stopped watch with a rousing cry of 'ARSE!!!' on spotting 1:40:01. Drew a strange look or two... Spotted Harry, and went to shake his hand and say thank you for keeping me going to get so close.
Emerged into football stadium (still underwhelming, but oh so glad to see it and be finished!), picked up T-shirt and was mobbed by a few club members all chattering at once. Mr Mad annoyingly smug with 44:10 for his first ever 10K and not even looking like he'd run at all. Git. Eventually located phone with a text informing me of official chip time of 1:39:47 - must have started at the second timing mat rather than the first - whatever the cause, I will take that result!
So... Pub. Beer. Burger. Big grin. Massive (11 minute!) PB, and 15 mins faster than last year's Sunderland-not-quite-a-half-marathon. All Hail Messrs P&D. Job done - bring on the taper-madness!
Ooops, that was long. Bet you can't wait for me to report on a full marathon
Here is my death-face at the end by the way (Take. The. Camera. Away.)
Well grafted BT.
Good result scot. Wasn't the target 3.30?
Fergster, enjoy the cider.
Madbee, with a half report like that your going to challenge lit for the longest ever race report come the main event!
Smashed it Fergster and Scott! Same to you Madbee but your 'death face' looks way too normal and socially competent. are you sure it's not a warming up face? I am sure you have noticed mcMillan calculator now has you down for 3:30:00
Booktrunk, well done for soldiering on. How are you feeling now?
Other things happened so I've barely run for a couple of weeks. Dusted off the legs and tried 3x1 mile yesterday which took 6:10, 6:20, 6:29 and was refreshing. Fitness is diminished but not entirely destroyed; P&D out the window. I want to do one long hilly run tomorrow night (15-18 miles) and then taper again for Richmond Park marathon.
Madbee - great race report and superb PB, well done!!
Today went a little something like:
5.00am - breakfast of pancakes and banana
5.15am - back to bed
6.30am - Ignore what seems to be the softest, warmest duvet ever to get up, get dressed and do a bit of foam rolling to loosen up my legs
7.55am - taxi into town
8.10am - 8:40 - general milling around and two trips to the toilet. One pee and one poo made me happy that there shouldn't be any pit-stops required along the way.
9.00am - and they're off...
Mile 1: I had the weirdest experience in the first mile. As soon as the gun went off, I hurtled out of the blocks for the first quarter of a mile and just felt numb. Like weird, drunk, numb. I've never felt anything like that before - it wasn't nerves or excitement, it was just numb. Thankfully the feeling passed towards the end of the first mile, but the net result of an eager first 0.5 mile at MP-30 seconds that numb feeling left me rattled that today wasn't going to be my day and that I messed up before I'd even started.
Miles 2-4 saw me even out into a steady and relaxed pace and by mile 4 I had dialled in a steady MP that felt comfortable yet needed a bit of concentration to keep things 'on the boil'.
I spent alot of time this last week carving up the course into manageable chunks, mentally rehearsing how I would feel on the terrain and what to do if things got messy. A combination of these bite-size chunks, the fact that I had crowd support at 10, 13 and 24 miles (this is not to be underestimated) and various thread discussions from the past 18 weeks (including the now famous thread mantra ) helped to keep enough chatter in my head to keep me focussed.
And I needed to concentrate... I had a stitch that was threatening to surface throughout the race. My stomach felt a bit iffy once. And I had a couple of those lovely windy burping moments shortly after taking a gel when your stomach says 'really, you think this is a good idea?!'.
I went through halfway in 1.32.11 more or less bang on target and was still feeling good, although my legs started to feel a bit heavy for a while.I did a quick body check and started to put my initial mile 1 fears out of my head...
...After the 7 mile climb in the first half, there's a nice downhill section of 2 miles which is a nice break, although it can be pretty hard on your quads. I got to the 'boring' tow-path section (16-19 miles) feeling strong and slightly rested with my second gel kicking in nicely only to be met with some fairly strong side-winds and a bit of rain. Remember all that crap we all ran through at the start of the year?! Well, it definitely helped me put the head down and plough through what could have been the perfect excuse for a slowdown.
Mile 19 was a crucial point in the race as it was about then that I decided that the best way to keep on pace was to slowly pick off runners that were ahead of me. I've used this before in the latter stages, but it seemed like the perfect way to keep focussed without endlessly checking my watch and stressing about splits.
Miles 20-23 saw my legs getting a bit heavier, but it still felt good to push the pace up to the point where I knew I was nibbling away at my overall pace. The dreaded one mile hill at mile 24 came and went without too much bother, although things were getting a bit blurry in my head at this point. Amazingly at mile 25, with only a downhill and a bit of flat to go, I hadn't dropped off my pace as I'd expected.
A quick check of the watch and I actually saw my average pace drop to 6:59 with 1.2 miles to go. Surely not?! I pushed the pace down the last hill and eventually arrived in Ormeau Park with 3.04.xx showing on the clock - just a sprint finish to seal the deal at 3.04.17, with a small negative split of 1.32.11 / 1.32.06.
Elated and choking back a manly marathon tear or two, I was greeted by my GF who was grinning from ear to ear having seen me cross the line. A perfect way to finish any race
5 sec negative split, wow. That's the way to do it.
Great running BT, Fergster, Scott & Madbee.
I never knew Sunderland had a half, being a Mackem by birth I'll have to do that one day. Similarly, Belfast, I've played footy there a couple of times but I'll have to have a wee run there for ma da one day.
Fergster that has to be the perfect race - well done! Negative split even though you think you started a bit quick - awesome. I love how logical and thoughtful you were about the race too, I hope I can employ the same clarity of judgement on the day! Really intelligent running.
Macca, yes, there is indeed a half - it's a Steve Cram organised event - there was a marathon (well, nearly - there was a big kerfuffle about it being 200m short!), a half and a 10K last year, but they ditched the marathon this year. I think they're intending to bring it back with a change in course next year. It's fairly well organised, but not the most inspiring course...
Madbee and Fergster, great reports. Well done. Fergster, sub 3 next?!
Well done fergster, great run.
It shows what a different beast the marathon is. Take myself, gk, fergster, ramjet and wenty. All of us have broadly similar half and 10k times yet there spread on marathon times between us is about 25 minutes from top to bottom end.
DT19: yeah 3:30 was the target so very happy with 3:24
Madbee: thats a brilliant achievement, your obviously in great shape and looks like the stamina from P&D really came into its own near the end
Marrows: good session there, when is the richmond park marathon?
Fergster: great race report and an even better result, surely sub 3 is beckoning for you now?
Spot on fergster - textbook stuff well done. Job done.
Great half there Madbee, love the report.
BT, I know exactly how you feel. However, you must have been chuffed to have finished after not being well.
DT, so true, you never really know what time you will end up with in a marathon whereas 5k, 10k, 10m and HM you can almost predict your time to the minute.
Well done to Scott also....
So, who's next??
Well done Scott, Fergster, Booky and Madbee. Good work all of you. Now time (apart from Madbee, you've got 3 weeks to go right?) to kick back and give yourself some well earned recovery time.
Feet up, and revel in "mesocycle 5"
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