Brighton Marathon 2012 Race Report

Whilst out running on Saturday afternoon I noticed this sign on Madeira Drive. I quite like it.

Anyway the weather forecast at 6am suggested it could be as cold as 4 degrees. Given my ‘half a wardrobe’ approach to packing for the weekend you would expect that to be no problem at all. I had forgotten to bring gloves though!

James texted to say he was well on his way down by train but the train and the station were suspiciously empty. As he put it, most of the runners must have opted for the ‘risk o’clock express’.

Start – James and I met in preston park. It was cold. It probably shows in the picture. James appears suitably attired for the prevailing weather. I’m clearly not!

We parted company having discussed our aims for the day and wishing each other well. To the pens we go…

The start went off smoothly. The only oddity was that all of the pacers were at the very front. Weird and the result was tat a lot of the field felt a need to fight their way to the front to catch up with the appropriate pacer. Odd.

Out towards the marina I felt ok. I spotted James not very far behind me after the first switchback turn. I’d kicked off with a target of 7 min 45 sec pace over the complete course. I was on target, almost to the second by the 10 mile mark. The absence of that short steep bit behind the school was welcome and the course is better for not winding through the school car park with it’s road bumps!

By the half way mark I was a few seconds ahead of target and still feeling good. At about 15 miles I spotted James again. He was at this point only 8 minutes behind me and so looking good for his new PB he wanted. I was on for 3:24 still. Heading down towards the power station stretch people were starting to drop. Given I was still on for well under 3:30 these guys must have been going at a rate, but were now reduced to a run-walk tactic.

The power station sections was worse for the lack of ‘The Wall’. Why wasn’t it there? I liked it personally!

Still on target. In fact I was about 30 seconds ahead of where I needed to be. Briliant!

As I rounded the docks area I checked the garmin once again to find that somehow I had lost exactly a minute on my target pace. I’d been reading it wrong and I was behind, not ahead! I needed to crack on. Mile 23 was a bit quicker. As I turned on to the seafront stretch, a little over 3 miles to go I decided to push hard. The next three miles fell pretty quickly. 7m10s. 7m12s. 7m11s. By far the fastest three miles of the whole marathon. A final push to the line at about 6m30s pace and I crossed the finish in 3h22m23s.

James came in less than 12 minutes behind me to set himself a new PB by fifteen minutes! well done mate.

I later found out that my friend Keith had also knocked nearly fifteen minutes off his PB too. Fantastic performance both of you!

Once I’d had a shower and some lunch I wandered back down to the seafront. We’re now talking about 6 hours since the gun went. I hung around for over an hour cheering people on as they finished. I know I’m in a different place when it comes to marathons. I want a good time, I want to be faster than before whereas these guys want to complete the amazing feat that is a marathon. I heard a few years ago that less than 2% of the population will ever run a marathon. I’m not sure if this statistic is still valid, but it won’t be all that many people who will have done one by the time they’re in a box. To all of you who achieved your goal yesterday, I say well done, I am impressed. You ran a marathon! Be proud.

Anyway, here’s a gallery of some photos from the day. Registration opens on Tuesday 17th April. Get your name down!


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