Posted: 22/10/2014 at 06:37
Race report I did for the club website. Format for this stolen from Jock itch - cheers fella.
Race Report - Abingdon Marathon
Time – 2 hours 47 mins 16 secs (new PB - *fist pump*)
Position – 15th overall and 4th elderly gentleman
Prize – solid gold trophy, Freedom of the town of Abingdon and a Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours List. Or it might have been a carrier bag with some leaflets in it.
Abingdon. A lovely little town just south of Oxford, where people called Rupert row boats and drink Pimms and stuff. It’s also where Radiohead first got together, and is the original home of the fine tipple that is Old Speckled Hen - so not all bad. It’s also the home to a cracking Marathon, which is why I found myself there this morning, greasing up Tiny Tim and the Twins ready for another 26.2 miles of pain!!
The race started at 9:00am, so I naturally made my way to the start pen at 8:58am. A quick piss next to the starting gantry and an elbow to the chops of some skinny bloke to move him out of the way and I was lined up at the front, mainly cos I’m an elite athlete and what not.
The plan today was simple enough – set off at sub-2’50 pace and hang on. This was my 3rd Marathon of the year. I’d already ran 2’51 at London and 2’53 at Flanders. I knew I was in sub-2’50 shape and I couldn’t see the point in running another 2’5x. I saw this as a race to experiment. If it went tits up then so be it. So it was either a 2’4x or something like a 3’30, when I’d completely blown myself to bits in a car-crash TV stylee. Fortunately it was the former!
So, the race. I settled into a nice rhythm early on, cos rhythm is a dancer, it’s a source of passion. The first 10k went by in circa 39’44, and it felt ultra comfortable. The heart rate was pretty low too, so a perfect start. Lovely jubbly. However, I was now on the first of 2 x 9 mile loops and I knew there was a pretty exposed 4 mile stretch coming up that was straight into the wind. I found myself in No-Man’s Land a bit too. A fair gap to a group of runners ahead, and nobody that close behind me. I reminded myself why I was here so pushed on to close down the group in front. Mile 7 was a 6’11…..oops! Still, it worked as I could now shelter a bit in the group, but I made sure I took my turn at the front to help the others out too. I had my first gel and just cruised along, really enjoying my run. I went through the second 10k in 39’44 and hit halfway in 1’23’31 – quicker than I’d envisaged but all the signs were positive. Come on my son, let’s ‘ave it!
Just after halfway we hit my favourite part of the course – a shortish section on hard, compacted trail. It felt just like a hard training run at home, and I was feeling great. By now the group I was with had broken up a fair bit, and by pushing the pace on the trail section I found myself running alone. At 14.5 we started the second 9 mile loop, so I knew the exposed section into the wind was coming up, and this time I had no group to work with. So, time to zip up the man suit!
I had to up the effort level a bit over the next few miles, but the pace remained solid with mile splits coming in between 6’19 and 6’25. I then had my first real bad spell at about 18ish. The next mile or so hurt, but I was still ok. Just. I think. 39’47 for the third 10k so the pace was still good. The course went through a Business Park at this point, and it was a bit twisty turny so I lost my rhythm a bit. Which wasn’t good, because as you’d know if you were paying attention earlier, rhythm is a dancer.
By now we’d started to lap the sl