Sitting on the train to Blackpool on Friday, I felt woefully unprepared for Sundays race. I was embarrassed by how little training I have done – I ran just 21 miles in January, 17 in February and 27 in March. Like I said – nowhere near enough. However, having completed 15k last week, I was confident I could get round as long as I paced myself. Cassie, who has been poorly, also had a ‘let’s just get round mentality’ and my friend Christa from running club opted to run with us for the 1st 3 miles so that she didn’t go off too fast.
We were lucky to have a beautiful day on the Saturday – I actually worried I might need some sunscreen.
Thanfully Sunday dawned overcast but not windy. Once we got to the start my Garmin took a while to get the signal hence the 12.5m not 13 below. Splits were pretty good for the 1st 6 miles, went out a bit for the next 3, the wheels fell off at mile 10 and luckily Cass picked me up again for the last 3 miles. I even found a sprint finish from somewhere as we finished in the Football stadium (sorry Cass – I think it was the crowd that spurred me on!).
09:41:02 1.00mi 00:11:49 5.08mph 54.5mph
09:52:50 1.00mi 00:11:51 5.06mph 5.9mph
10:04:43 1.00mi 00:11:50 5.06mph 6.2mph
10:16:34 1.00mi 00:11:49 5.08mph 6.0mph
10:28:23 1.00mi 00:11:50 5.07mph 5.8mph
10:40:13 1.00mi 00:11:48 5.08mph 5.8mph
10:52:01 1.00mi 00:12:00 5.00mph 5.7mph
11:04:02 1.00mi 00:12:15 4.90mph 6.1mph
11:16:18 1.00mi 00:11:57 5.01mph 6.5mph
11:28:15 1.00mi 00:13:36 4.41mph 6.9mph
11:41:52 1.00mi 00:12:44 4.71mph 6.1mph
11:54:36 1.00mi 00:12:47 4.69mph 5.9mph
12:07:23 1.00mi 00:11:43 5.11mph 9.6mph
12:19:07 0.05mi 00:02:37 1.06mph 7.5mph
My finish time was 2h 39m 01s.
After the race I scarfed two of Cassies Flapjacks YUM, whilst I was waiting for Stuart and Elaine to complete their marathons. Once they finished (in 3.27 and 4.55 respectively – bloody marvellous) we wandered into Blackpool and met up with Cassie and Ian at a lovely real ale pub where I was delighted to find they had Rekoderlig Strawberry and Lime cider on TAP!! Bloody amazing. Anyway, we spent about an hour slagging off the organisation of the marathon; in a nutshell no secure baggage area, no start time zones, no clear directions to the start, marshaling on the route provided by a 3rd party event team so gave no support, lack of marshalls on the course generally, jobsworth event staff making runners walk all the way around the stadium to get to friends and family, crap St Johns Ambulance. I could go on but I won’t. Despite all that, if I don’t get into London next year I would probably seriously consider returning as it’s a fairly flat course for a marathon.
A trip to Harry Ramsdens followed, I was so hungry I inhaled my chips yes, I really did, then we headed back to our caravan park for much needed showers and a couple more drinks – a perfect post race wind down.
I had a great weekend. Cassie was a brilliant race partner – we’re already looking into our next run together. I would recommend Blackpool on the basis that it’s flat, but don’t go into it expecting great organisation or crowd support, I think I got claps from 3 marshals and 2 drunken bystanders (clearly part of a stag party).