Got to agree on what others have mentioned about the Belfast Marathon although I understand that the event would not take place if it wasn't for the relay element. I have so far did 4 BMs and now feel like doing a different course such as Dublin. There are parts of the Belfast route where no real thought as been put in, for example as I think Martin mentioned the cobblestones at mile 21. That in itself could finish a runner's race. The lack of water stations between Gideon's Green and the Industrial estate is an issue especially as this is the area where most marathoners start getting it tight. The relay runners starting at the same time as the marathoner runners etc.
To be fair the event is well supported by the crowds but the route needs badly changed. It seems the people in charge are completely unwilling to do this yet I know it has happened. Back around 2005 I remember doing the 3rd lap of the relay and from what I can remember this route was different to the traditional route. I can remember running around airport road for the changeover. I
I think my lack of long runs was my downfall and my pacing. I never did mention how I got on in the race. I was going strong and caught up with 3:30 pacer around the 10 mile mark, I then decided that this pace was too slow for me, overtook him and decided to go 7:45 up the Antrim Road. This would be the biggest mistake I would make and cost me bigtime later. In my mind I had it my head that I would take it easy on Floral Road to protect my knee, however the warning signs were there at Gideon's Green. Miles 16-19 were very difficult to maintain 8:00 pace.
By mile 20 my race was over and it would take me 65 minutes to complete the last 10k. Only for seeing my wife at the 22 mile mark there to give me a bottle of water was I able to continue. It was the worst wall I have hit in a marathon and I found the experience very humbling. I seen the Mrs again the last mile and she decided to race some of it with me. I just about got to the finish line in one state. In truth I should have did more long runs and didn't have the endurance for the 3:30. I have my eyes set on Dublin and will treat Belfast has a learning experience of how not to train for the 26 mile distance.
Checked the telegraph in the hope the results would be in the paper but they are not there. I am really annoyed because I feel it makes me out to look like a liar to all the people who I told I came in at 3:40.
Update: Have phoned the organisers and they are going to check if the chip did not get recognised.