Blackpool marathon report.

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Thats all I need to say.

What you want more?

Oh, OK then.

“Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”
-Dean Karnazes, ultra-marathoner and author

This was my A race, the chance to run the sub 3hr, three chance to make amends for not doing it last year in the same race.

The goals were:

Dream – sub 2:50
A – 2:50-55
B – Sub 3
C – VMLM2015 GFA sub 3:05 and the least I should accept.

After travelling up on the Saturday, hydrating well, fueling properly and no traffic delays I was even more prepared than ever. A little walk around Blackpool revealed the wind was mild but not too bad, like this and it would make the marathon a little tougher but manageable.
I checked the weather report again and it still said 15mph SW wind. Pretty much what it was at that moment.

A good nights sleep in a very comfy hotel bed meant I was ready. Quick breakfast I made my way to the Blackpool Hilton for the start. I was a little nervous but a lot more confident. I did a 1mile warm up jog and the legs felt great.  The wind wasn’t bad. Everything was right. The mottos for the day would be

“I got this” & “deal with it”

I knew with my habit of going out too fast coupled with the half marathon starting at the same time I needed to be disciplined. On the gun we were off and I was pulling away from the Garmin virtual partner but not too bad. After an expected 6.18 I brought it back to 6.38 & 6.35. The first 3.5miles had been into the wind but we arrived at the first turn and now had the wind behind us so mile 4 became 6.27.

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I needed to keep the effort steady and managed this well back up the effort with the 6miles back up the Blackpool front being 6.36, 6.30, 6.29, 6.28, 6.25, 6.24. I’d realised at some point I was running very comfortable at  2:48-49 pace but would be back into the wind again soon. One gripe was the guy on the water station was very slow handing out the bottles making me stop and step back to grab one.

It wasn’t long before I was at the second turnaround and along the promenade the wind was a little stronger and I was conscious of having to work. I dropped my effort a little as we wasn’t even at halfway and I had 6miles of this. Mile splits along this stretch show the effect. 6.51, 6.56, 6.41 & 6.42

Through that section and I got back onto the Blackpool front. the wind wasn’t as bad as the promenade but was noticeable worse than before. I was in a group of 3 and we helped each other through to the 3rd turnaround. Again I was conscious of having to work again. 6.46 & 6.53

I went around the cones at the turnaround again but was aware I was starting to feel a little fatigued. I took a shotblok and a bottle of water from the water station. This gave me some energy but the tailwind wasn’t noticeable apart from a couple of short stretches. I knew to finish strong in the expected headwind when we next turned around I would have to maintain effort and not worry about pace. Splits of 6.36, 6.42, 7.02, 6.58, 7.01, 7.21 show how running into the wind had affected me. The sub 2:50 was now not an option.

Mile 22 brought the final turnaround and back along the promenade. The wind had really picked up. I was now running into a wall of air and had a decision to make, with 4miles to go keep going hard to get 2:50-55 and risk blowing up or jog the rest of the way to go sub 3hr?

I decided to go all or nothing. I took another shotblok and pushed on. Soon tho I started to feel the effort and feeling like I was struggling. I went through mile 23 in 7.23, had a gel and then another shotblok,  “deal with it”  went thru my mind often, I passed a marshal with an altimeter and asked wind speed? 38mph  :-O

Mile 24 took 8.02 and I was suffering. I took a 10sec break to get my head together. I restarted and felt ok again. This didn’t last long, I turned a corner and the wind hit me hard. I started to walk and run a little. Mile 25 passed in 9.04. I could see the finish in the distance. I started to run again but I was shot, I had next to no energy left. I was walking and constantly looking at the watch. I stopped and heard a little voice above me, I looked up to see Emma next to the finish shouting me on and telling me to stop looking at the watch. I started running, well a slow run but the finish was disappearing behind me. After what seemed an age I reached the ramp up onto the next level and more importantly the wind behind me. I ran the last bit and finished, the announcer told me about the Sheffield half fiasco, collected my medal and goody bag of 2water bottles, 2 soreen slices, wagon wheel and snickers. All the food was consumed immediately.

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I had finished in 16th in 3:03.21. GFA achieved for London marathon next year.

Me, Emma and Lucas all went to pizza hut for my planned post marathon meal.

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OK I might not have run the sub 2:50 but only 2 in the field did.
I might not have run the sub 3hr but without the horrendous wind I would have easily.
I have another marathon in 6 weeks so haven’t got long till I get to put it right. White peak can also be windy so I’m hoping for a quiet day.

One thing ive noticed and weirdly is this pattern, of the 3 marathons ive done
2011 white peak went wrong at 20miles
2013 Blackpool went wrong at 22miles
2014 Blackpool went wrong at 24miles
Maybe white peak 2014 I will be OK till mile 26.2miles 

You can still donate to my justgiving page and this time if you donate £5 take a guess at my White Peak finishing time.

Anyway Bye For Now

“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”
Malcolm X

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