Marathon – 7 October 2012
Salisbury –Winchester Multi-Terrain. Jon Braund reports.
though I hadn't done further than 13 miles since the 32 mile ‘Doddle’
seven weeks back, I had the best intentions of tapering the week before
the marathon. Then on Tuesday I decided it would be fun to do a circuit,
the first for about 8 weeks. Now, the first time I do this is always
bad news. The soreness built up over the next couple of days although I
did get out for a jog on the Friday. By Saturday one leg was fine and
the other had a heat patch on ...
up early on Sunday to drive to the Winchester Park & Ride for the race
bus to Salisbury where I met Jerry, Pete and some non-WAC friends. It’s
10.25, standing at the start bouncing around I’m trying to warm up the
dodgy leg, I felt the five gels I had in my pockets pulling my shorts
south. Five minutes later I was still trying, unsuccessfully, to recover
the end of the drawstring that had got lost in the waistband when we
started and Jerry disappeared into the distance. After a few minutes the
shorts seemed to be staying up so I settled my mind on the race (mental
note, check before the race in future). The weather before the start had
been cloudy and cool with a bit of moistness in the air, not good for
standing around in but great for running. Luckily it stayed like that
pretty much all the way.
settled into the usual pattern of running with people for a while, the
occasional exchange of comments, changing companions as we went up and
down hills and through water stops at different speeds. I really enjoy
the variety of this course - tracks, fields, woods, plenty of hills, a
few puddles and some mud, even a bit of road! Usually it has some great
views but fewer this year with the misty weather. The mile markers
counted down from 26 and they were soon ticking past regularly - the
benefit of an interesting route for me.
set off doing a bit over 8 minute miles which, given that my PB for this
course was 3:49, was too fast (according to the wayward mile markers I
even did a 5 minute mile between 2 and 3!). Although I tried to slow
down a bit I got to Broughton, the halfway mark, in 1.46. Having stopped
at a drinks station, I looked up and saw Pete Lemon ahead - he'd run
through. I shouted a greeting, caught up and we ran together for several
miles, welcome company.
a faint hope that we might have got through Broughton ahead of the
half-marathoners who start there 1:45 after us but we soon started
catching the back markers. This meant that the mud was churned up by
several hundred runners instead of maybe 60 - all part of the challenge!
There followed a period when we were overtaking half-marathoners
steadily which made judging pace hard, but soon tired legs, big hills
and narrow, muddy paths made the overtaking less frequent.
ground up a few hills in the first half but in the second they seemed
longer and harder, and Pete and I walked up a couple. Towards the top of
one of these I was slightly in front and I think started running sooner
and got a bit ahead. The gentlemanly thing would have been to wait but I
was worried about losing my own rhythm so I pushed on, meeting Jools and
then Nikki, who were doing the half, a bit later. The last few miles
had some seriously muddy patches, some bits churned up by heavy forestry
machinery, but these were negotiated. I allowed myself to walk up a
final bit of off-road uphill on a really rubbish path (I didn't really
have any choice but last time I tried to run up it and failed in
frustration), jogged the last undulating mile or so and in the last 400
yards I even got up onto my toes a bit more and felt quite good -
although the photo at the finish doesn't look like it. My legs felt OK
too (compared to how they sometimes are) which I think is a benefit of
running off-road with a softer surface and more variety of stride. I
finished in 3:46 which I was pleased with.
Clarendon Marathon is well organised (by the Winchester and Salisbury
Rotary Clubs) and well marshalled. There seems to be plenty of company
on the run, especially in the second half, and quite a few knots of
supporters (at one point I wondered if people coming out to watch
marathon runners go past is the modern equivalent of the 18th century
entertainment of going to stare at lunatics). It's one of my favourites
and I plan to be there again next year.
Jerry Shield – 3:26:27
54 – Jon Braund – 3:46:54
62 – Pete Lemon – 3:49:48
– Julie James – 2:11:54
fabulous rolling route – Profile - net climb of 80 metres