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BiGPoPPa's gonna work it out! by BiGPoPPa


Race reports, so i can remember them when i'm old and grey x  

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Total posts: 205

Started: 13 Apr 2008

Last post: 26 Oct 2014

  • (4 of 5) Brentwood Marathon 26-10-14


    Oct2620146:39 p.m.

    So yeah after a w0bble at Chelmsford, what was i to do... I knew i'd be on the start line but i was a little unsure about what would be the best way to run it?
    An off road 12 lapper through forest & glen.
    Good news, the weight is still going the right way, though i did treat myself a little more this week, post w0bble.
    Today's start line was only an hour away
    I went down the club on Thursday, and after signing up for entry into the ballot for one of the club's VMLM 2015 places, i went out on a comfortable paced easy 6. The main group pushed on ahead which left me, Paula & Anita to bring up the rear. I was pretty sure i wanted to leave my Garmin at home and just run by feel (nice n' steady right), and Anita remembered this strat appearing in an edition of RunnersWorld.....
    Cheers Anita!
    It's not on the pic but basically the 1st 11 miles are run gently, then 12-22 at moderate effort, and push hard if you have anything left at the end. It makes a lot of sense & decided this is what i would do. The course was 12 loops so, the 1st 5 would be easy, and the next 5 at moderate effort with that last 2 pushing hard. Ok then.
    I was on my own and arrived in plenty of time. Grabbed a brew & picked up my number. Pinklepause. Back to the car to lube up etc. Went back to the start area 10 mins before the starts. They set off the 10k 1st, then a few mins later the half & a few mins later all the full marathoners were in the pen eager to begin. Bumped into an X GVH runner, Martin Stevens (sp?) who did Snowdon marathon yesterday, and this one today and tomorrow him & his 6 mates are all doing Dublin! Hats off that's awesome. Part of a bigger challenge over the year... details here
    The guy next to me had done it the last 2 or 3 years & said it was tough, and that i should add an hour onto my normal marathon time... wtf lol!!  All it said on the webbie was a couple of sharp hills. It wasn't as bad as what he made out (unless you were to walk every hill i guess), but it was a lot tougher than a couple of sharp hills.

    It was a figure of eight, though you didn't cross in the middle.



    From the start you would head west on that map along the edge of the wide open grass... after this little turn in the top corner of the field



    ...then follow it round to the right, along the edge, and down a steep hill to the waters edge. It was all muddy/waterlogged at the X and about 30m all around, making it unavoidable - though it made me laugh the people still trying to avoid the mud. After the X we all beared left and up up up... oh boy... not so steep to begin with but on the diagram it was all uphill until we turned into the forest, with the last 150 yards becoming quite challenging and steep.

    A bit of up and down through the forest broke it up nicely. The tree roots had been sprayed dayglow orange which was pretty helpful, especially later on then the blood sugar to my brain was low :P

    A few long muddy sections were quite enjoyable... straight through them just like club Cross Country was the quickest route by far while we were a bit bunched up at least, but this wasn't necessary a bit later once we'd thinned out a little.

    Next up there was a ravine to negotiate, again the cross country skills helping a lot here. Easing off the gas on the way down until the point where you would use the downhill to gain momentum, which you would carry through the bottom and as far up the hill... pumping them arms like a good 'un. It definitely woke you up a bit i can tell you. The marshal kept saying i was bossing it, which in turn meant i kept on doing that!

    Then a nice downhill section back to the X. It reminded me a bit of the XC course at Oxford, and boy i loved it. Some bits the route finding was simple but technical, and others i was using the big gear and cruising at max :o)

    Reach the X then on through the waterlogged grasslands before pushing up the not so long, but pretty sharp hill it has to be said, till you were over the brow  where you would enjoy the short downhill to the timing gates where you could get your breath back, and grab water / gels / cake lol, oh and don't forget to pick up your scrunchie from the marshal which served as a reminder to see how many laps you'd done.

    The MC would call out your name, say how many laps and all of that stuff anyway but it was definitely a handy reminder.

    So yeah how did the strategy go?

    Absolutely awesome...


    See for yourself
    The first five i was taking it easy having a good chat and that. I felt a bit clunky i must admit, this wore off by lap 4 or so and i seemed to come alive. I was wanting to go a lot more but made myself hold back. After lap 5 i pushed the pace a bit, reaching halfway in 2:07:20.
    My support crew appeared on the scene shortly after lap 7... which was great... They walked the route. Ben was full of beans as per usual.
    I seemed to feel stronger than ever, and was again resisting pushing the pace too much. Not very well by the looks of the splits as i just seemed to get faster and faster. For the last 2 laps i was reeling loads of people in and the marshals were commenting on me speeding up, and this just added fuel to my fire. The marshal at the top of the long hill took his hat off to me which was pretty cool.
    I never walked up the hills once. I stuck to the game plan, and crossed the line proper psyched in 15th place in 4:06:19.... negative splitting a marathon for the first time (i think!) by 8:21, and doing the 2nd half in 1:58:59.
    Happy Days!
    Headed to the car to get warmed up & changed, drank my enormous post race smoothie - in retrospect i think this is probably one of the main reasons i have been able to do this every weekend.
    Mud Fest
    Nice Medal
    Nice Warm tee for winter
    Thanks to GoBeyond Challenge ltd for a super well organised event, i'm not sure what i'm going to do in the future re.marathons but if i do decide to try an ultra then i'm sure i'll give your webbie a look and maybe try one of your events.
    Webbie link HERE.
    Results & Pics page will appear HERE.
    Slightly regretting not bringing the Garmin to get more details on the hills, but all in all super happy with running by feel. Think i might do the same in Stevenage next Sunday where i finish this 5 in 5 challenge..... but then what??
    Bring on the noise

    Comments (5)

    • Rob_Barber 'I think running to feel is the only way, and I'm glad you've had a good experience of it. For the doubters I pose this question - how often do you see elite athletes looking at their watch?' added 26th Oct 2014

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    • ymonks 'Good luck for Stevenage. Looking forward to the write up.' added 26th Oct 2014

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    • marcphillips 'Nice one Andy, good write up and good performance yet again! Did you spot that Travers did Snowdonia yesterday and then Ricky Road Run today? You are both as daft as each other!!!' added 26th Oct 2014

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    • hollywooddave 'Well done big fella:) it seems you get better and better and better! ' added 27th Oct 2014

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    • Jennymcc 'That course sounds mentally and physically very challenging. Fantastic result. ' added 27th Oct 2014

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