Unusual Suspects Marathon #44

Today started like this


So I was expecting some weather but not snow for 3 hours and a bit. 

I’m jumping ahead, I got there bright and early as usual and got my bib for the three days. Number 135 if you’re interested. Took a selfie in the car whilst sorting bib out etc. 


See I’m trying to smile. 

Got out of car about 40 mins to go and hung around chatting and saying hello to the (un) usual suspects. It was Costa’s 100th marathon so someone had made him a HUGE cake of a coffee cup and spoon. (Costa Coffee of course). 

As we we’re jostling for position to hear the pre race brief it started slowly snowing. Little tiny beads of hail and snow that were quite pretty. I was ready with my fancy Nike top and fancy Nike gloves so all was well. We were doing the lightning course named for obvious reasons (looks like lightning bolt?) This course we do today and Monday and the “177” course tomorrow and Tuesday. 


I started near the front as I knew it gets a bit narrow after about half a mile and I didn’t want to be held back. I was aiming for sub four (of course) regardless of the elevation which I remembered vaguely. 

It wasn’t too bad and after the first of 7 laps I lost the Nike top and went just for my t-shirt. Now this may have been my downfall or not as I then spent the next 2 hours running in sideways snowfall in a t-shirt. I didn’t have my arm sleeves as I could only find one last night. I’ve found the other now in my wife’s sock drawer of all places!

Anyway I was going great and feeling ace until about the 12 mile mark when I discovered that rooibos tea is not for running with as it was giving me a tummy ache. Fearing the worse I put my hydrapak in my shorts pocket (yes shorts even though it was cold) and left it there. 

This was mid hill so I slowed down a bit hoping that GI distress did not happen as it’s pretty open round there with no toilets or large bushes! Luckily all was well but I noticed I had slowed a little on the hill on my 4th lap. 

No excuse though and I carried on back to base and out, back on with my wondrous Nike top, and got warmer though my fingers were getting colder and colder as the snow continued to fall. 

Basically I’ve come to the conclusion I don’t do well in the cold, not being able to feel my fingers is not conducive to me and a sub four

Doing the mental arithmetic that only marathoners do, I worked out even with 10 minute mile it would be close for a sub four and I would have to speed up. 

No. I was having a decent time now at a slower pace so I made the decision to go 4:10 instead and not kill myself at the start of 4 marathons back to back. 

All went to plan and looking at my splits they weren’t too bad just not sub four. 


Came in around 4:09 so made it home in one piece and glad I got the best medal around! I missed this one last year as it sold out so very happy to get this. 

After talking to Clive (who managed a 3:54 in amazing form) I buggered off as I felt a little faint and needed some food. I ate my sweet potatoes and beetroot worth the eggs and saved my avocado for when I got home. 

Sat in my car with the heating on trying to warm my hands was much fun trying to eat too! Glad I took my food though as the faintness went away (until I got home) and I managed to get home by about 3pm where my wife soon cooked a HUGE meal of sausage meat and broccoli, whilst I cooked more sweet potato and beetroot for dinner and tomorrow and made some more of my date bars. 

Regarding my race nutrition, and not mentioning the rooibos tea, it went really well. They tasted yummy and eating every half an hour is comforting though I think my maths got confused as I packed 5 not 6 and I had to run to the back of the car for one I’d brought “just in case.”

So result there and a non-result for the tea during but definitely before. Bit worried about the faint feeling but will see how I go tomorrow. 

All set for the run tomorrow now which is 5 laps so it feels less though it’s still 26.2. 

Here’s me after the race before eating. 


Run gently. 

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