Chris Wood reports from the London Marathon
Now my legs (and head) have recovered from Sunday, Ian has asked me to write a little report about my experience at the London Marathon.
I fell 37 seconds short of the WAC marathon record at Bournemouth in October and was confident I could break it at London on a flatter course. So, between New Years and Sunday 28th April I ran 1,315 training miles, paid £210 (!) for a pair Nike 4%’s and bought a set of scales so that I could obsess over my weight. I also checked the weather forecast about a thousand times in the final 2 weeks (good temperature but too windy!).
I’d set PBs at 5km (16:10), 10miles (56.33) and the Half Marathon (1:13.09) in the build up to London so knew I could run a fast time. The sub-2:30 benchmark was a big temptation and considerably faster than my PB but at least if it went wrong I might get on TV crawling down The Mall!
My plan was to set off and maintain 5 min 40 pace from the start, which was immediately scuppered by the sheer volume of runners clogging the streets of Greenwich. Mile 1 turned out to be my slowest at 5.55 pace but from that point the race opened up. I was able to claw back time with a few 5.30s before settling in to 5.40 pace and awaiting the familiar implosion as I hit the wall! However, I’d learnt some valuable lessons from the Bournemouth Marathon where the last six miles had been a painful slog. I’d looked carefully at my nutrition and took on board a gel every 3.5 miles (that’s 6 in total) and by the time I’d consumed my last gel at mile 21 I felt great and pushed on as other people around me fell back. Before long I could see the Wimborne AC banner and some familiar faces on Birdcage Walk with less than a mile to go.
I was absolutely thrilled to finish in 2:29.09, knocking over eight minutes off my PB and the club marathon record. I was pleased to have run fairly even half splits of 1:14.25 and 1:14.44 (also my second and third fastest half marathon times ever). My overall position was 70th out of 42,358 people and during the race I overtook 717 runners and was overtaken by just 15.
Having celebrated with too much beer, junk food and Easter Eggs I’m now thinking about the rest of the Dorset Road Race League and doing it all other again at the England Marathon Masters at the Yorkshire Marathon. No rest for the wicked!