Greater Manchester Marathon 2016

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Sunday 10 April
Sunny, cold to start (4C) rising rapidly to 12C.

Breakfast at 04:10, two porridge pots and coffee.  Met up with Jeff early, 06:00, to get the car spaces we wanted.  It was below freezing so took our time preparing and got over to the race village about 08:10.

Ditched a thick top as I passed the start line and tried to keep the pace easy.  Was carried along about 5:40 min/km pace and would have ideally been more like 6:00 min/km.  Followed the 4 hour pacer from a distance , until a pit stop came along.

Jeff had a nose bleed at 1km, took a bit of tissue from a helpful runner to stem it.  Good job we wore red running vests.

The crowds and stewards were brilliant. The blue skies and pleasant temperature made it more pleasant for them and the runners. I wasn’t really counting off the miles for the first part, so Altrincham (halfway) came up a bit earlier than expected.  After this point the balls of my feet began to get a bit sore.  Just from all the pounding I think.

Had gels at 8km, 15km, 25km, 35km and somewhere around 39km. Drank water throughout picking up a fresh bottle every third water stop or thereabouts.  Started to slow drastically with 4-5 miles to go.  Head started to turn fuzzy too, so adopted a walk – run – walk pattern.  Noticed ribs ached a bit probably due to arm movements.

Ran the last km and over the finish line, with relief, happiness and a lot of emotion.  Later I found only minor blisters, no injuries or strains.  Right heel is stiffening slightly as expected.  Will take a few days off running, then start to think about the next race, which is in 30 weeks…

Distance:  26.2 miles (Garmin measured 42.66km)
Time :  4:19:03
Avg HR:  no data
Avg pace:  6:04 min/km
Calories:  3458
Brooks Ghost trainers

Greater Manchester Marathon 2013

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Sunday 30th April, 09:00

Cool and overcast at the start, probably 4C.  Improving to 8-9C and a bit of sunshine at the end, with a couple of light showers inbetween.  Ran this marathon with my brother Jeff, of course.  It was hard to judge what to wear but went with a running vest and lightweight yellow jacket; in hindsight this was probably about right.

Tried to keep to an easy pace for the first part of the race.  Went through halfway feeling fine and seemed in control and doing a reasonable pace at 20 miles.  Lots of great support from the crowds, especially around some road junctions and through Altrincham.  Around 20 miles Jeff had left knee pain that needed a bit of walking, and a few miles of run/walk got us nearer the finish.  Then my energy levels dropped a lot, I started to feel unwell and found it harder to get running again.  We walked some more and ran over the finish line, and still finished just 45 seconds slower than last year’s time.

The worst injury I found afterwards was a bad blister covering lots of my middle toe right foot.  It did not feel that bad at the time (it felt like I had sock inbetween my toes) but it’ll take a little while to heal.  I also got sunburn on head, neck and the back of my knees.  Otherwise just tired, mentally and generally, but no stiff muscles (yet) and I can go up and down stairs OK.

Need to figure out how to avoid the low energy on future marathons.  I’d had porridge for breakfast, and during the run had water, 3 gels, shot bloks, isotonic drinks and a couple of jelly babies; far more than I’d planned for.  It could be a combination of a slightly too fast a pace for the first part of the run, quite strong and gusty wind at times, and the temperature rising.  All my training had been in the coldest winter we’ve had for years.

Another mystery is where one of my nipple tapes went to.  I used physio tape to prevent chafing and one of them ended up attached to my heart rate monitor strap.  The other has completely disappeared, in spite of wearing a jacket over my running vest.

All in all, another fun run with Jeff.  Another big achievement for me.

Jeff and me after the Mcr Marathon

Official Distance:  42.195km – Garmin 42.09km
Chip Time:  4:26:37 – Garmin 4:26:50
Avg HR:  149bpm
Avg pace:  6:20 min/km
Calories:  2807
New trainers

Greater Manchester Marathon 2012

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Sunday 29th April, 09:06

The day was cold, wet and getting wetter, windy and getting windier!  Ran with Jeff of course.   I added a plastic poncho to my attire to keep me as dry as possible; Jeff had a bin bag.  It was great to start a marathon in good shape and without significant injury, and we took it steady to save energy for later.  The rain and wind was awful.  Some of the country lanes were full of muddy puddles.  But the marshalls and spectators that provided support were brilliant – they must have been soaked and freezing.

The last 5-6 miles were really tough.  I was running on empty and they seemed to pass so slowly.  My calves were tired and stiffening, but the main problem was my thigh muscles beginning to struggle and my right hamstring getting tight.  I just managed to keep moving and probably slowed Jeff quite a bit.

It’s a PB and I’m so pleased to finish this one without injury and by running from beginning to end.  The relief was overwhelming at the finish and we really earned our medals today.  The months and months of early morning runs paid off.

Jeff and me at the finish of Greater Manchester Marathon

Distance:  42.27km
Time:  Garmin – 4:25:52  (The time on the marathon tracker site is gun time – 4:28:26)
Avg HR:  151bpm
Avg pace:  6:17 min/km
Calories:  3278

From marathon website:

   Start Mat 09:06 am 00:02:39
   10 Kilometres
   10 Mile 10:41 am 01:37:12
   Half Marathon 11:11 am 02:07:10
   20 Mile 12:22 pm 03:18:06
   Spotter 01:32 pm 04:28:10
   Finish 01:32 pm 04:28:26
   PostSpotter 01:32 pm 04:28:36