Posted: 04/10/2015 at 19:28
Excellent racing and results from Jools, VTr and GM. Great Parkrunning too by Lorenzo, Birch, PMJ and especially OO. Welcome back Fishy, I hope you recovery continues. Belated congrats to PJF on brilliant run in Berlin. Good solid training runs by the rest.
After running a course PB of 37:35 in my local 10k last weekend I lined up today in the Monaghan Phoenix Marathon full of confidence. I was attempting to run a third sub 3 in 6 weeks.
The race started and finished at the Monaghan Football grounds and included a half marathon, back to back marathons and a marathon. We all started together and about 15 people were ahead of me going through a mile in 6:36. My plan was to run about 6:40 pace and allow some slow down over the last few miles for a comfortable sub 3.
Before we completed the 2nd mile the half and full marathon runners split different directions and I could see 2 other runners about 100m ahead running the full. I didn't know how many other runners were out of sight further up the road. I ran the next few miles in 6:26, 6:34, 6:34, 6:23 and was about 50m behind the two in front and running with another guy who had caught me.
We went through the next in 6:36 and caught up with one of the guys ahead and the three of us ran in a wee group. The other two had run the course before and explained to me that we would be entering a park and doing 4 laps while the half marathon runners would be doing 2.
We caught the other guy ahead in the park, running our first major hill which took 7:20. The park was undulating throughout with twisty trail paths and trees playing havoc with my Garmin. I completed the next few miles in 6:46, 6:55, 6:13 (downhill) and 6:45 and had started pulling away for the group.
I was starting to lap half marathon runners and a nice group of girls told me I was in 2nd place! Holy smoke I was battling for a podium place. The next miles took 7:02, 6:18 and I went through half way in about 1:27. I was feeling great and very much in cruise control. I was enjoying the park trails and continually lapping of other runners who gave lots of encouragement.
The next miles took 6:56, 6:15, 6:39 and 7:07 and another runner told me I was in 2nd place about 5 minutes behind the leader. This was good to know as I knew I couldn't catch him unless he slowed dramatically. I didn't have to push 100% and could save some energy for anyone trying to overtake.
The 18th mile took 7:01 then an uphill 7:27 to reach 20 miles, finishing the warm-up and now the real 10k race began. A downhill mile in 6:18 followed and went into the last 5 mile lap. I was still feeling great and running within myself but cruised through the next flat mile in 6:35. However, all of sudden the hills in the park seemed to be getting steeper and I finally started having to work hard.
I was told the leader was still about half a mile ahead and running strong. However running a 7:09, 7:14 and struggling up a the final uphill mile in 7:43, meant I was more concerned on who could be catching me.
Thankfully the 25th mile was downhill which I ran in 6:22 and I was over the blip and feeling strong again. The last full mile took 6:40 and I entered the home straight happy as the preverbal pig.
It was great to hear my name called out and announced I was second place overall. I went through the finish in 2:55:11 by my Garmin which was 3 seconds slower than my last marathon 3 weeks ago. How about that for consistency!
The winner finished in 2:51 and he told me later his PB was 2:49. My concerns about being caught were unnecessary as 3rd didn't finish until a few minutes past 3 hours.
I got to stand on a podium for only the 4th time in my life and received a lovely glass trophy and 50 Euros. I'