Dr Dan - You could well be right about the sneaky ploy. You'll go well at Leeds HM based on your VOY performance and, as you know, it is a course which rewards sensible pacing with all the tough stuff being in the first half. Talking of Leeds HM, I currently have the shiney winner's trophy in the my car and have the task of depositing it behind a bin this morning. Seems a bit wrong somehow! Can you imagine if a little dog discovers it, it could be a re-run if the 1966 World Cup trophy saga all over again
Malcs - You're right. At various points on the course I managed to have brief chats with 6 different friends, although mainly in the second half when it has thinned out a bit.
WJH - Yes, indeed it is Riga. I don't know much about it yet, that's the next task....
Malcs - Brilliant, what a small world. The chap in question was a friend who had told nobody at all that he was running so I was somewhat surprised to see him there. He had not run at London before so we were running through a few of the things to eatch out for on the course He coped with it all reasonably well as he went on to clock 2:49:09.
The irony is that when he came up alongside I said 'what are you doing here?'. Then, a few miles up the road he bumped into HO and uttered the very same words after being told by me earlier that she definitely wasn't running!
Bad luck with York, as for this year it may or may not be on the agenda but definitely not entered yet.
Theres quite a lot of 'it depends' caveats for this sort of question.
If the course was completely flat in both halves, the temperature was exactly the same for the entire duration of the race, wind stayed exactly constant and you managed to stay within the same proximity of the racing line in both halves then I would say that as close to even pacing as possible is optimal.
But, as those caveats are very unlikely in the majority of marathons it is even effort that is likely to be optimal regardless of conditions and course profile. That could equate to a negative split, a positive split or even pacing but is within your own control regardless of what is thrown at you.
Alehouse - Next in a marathon in Latvia in a couple of weeks, followed by Kent Roadrunner marathon 2 weeks after that. We stayed about 20 miles outside Valencia up near where the race was, a bit in the middle of nowhere, so can't really advise on accommodation. It us very cheap to hire cars to get around but avoid Dickmanns!
DT - She just didn't fancy it after we had both been coughing up gunk all week. Having won a 50k and a marathon in the last 4 weeks she had nothing to prove. But, of course, in the end it turned out pretty well which shows again that how you're feeling on the start line can be quite misleading.
WJH - Very frustrating but everyone has marathons where they feel that circumstances dealt them a very unfair hand on the day. Generally it is compensated by another one where everything clicks perfectly so fingers crossed that you get the deserved outcome in the not too distant future.
Alehouse - Where did you spot us, was this the red button coverage? The race itself was approached cautiously with the 50k and marathon from the last 4 weeks in the legs. Unfortunately, that really messed up the first half for me as I was effectively roadblocked by the large sub3 group until past 10 miles. I'm rubbish when I can't keep a consistent momentum going!
The 2nd half was much more enjoyable so ended up with a 2 minute + negative split - 1:29:25, 1:27:08 for 2:56:33. In 10 attemots at London the last 10 miles have never felt as good.
As for HO, quite an unusual day. She decided not to run 30 mins before the start but got next to no assistance from the marshalls in how best to travel to Westminster.....so ended up deciding to run anyway. 2:52 later she had finished 23rd female....