Another gorgeous crisp cool blue sky day. We are really getting spoiled with them this year. Every day like this I worry that we are due a hideous day sometime later in the winter. Usually one such day co-incides with the Rotherham 50 but now they have moved that to summer.
I'll say straight out that the Rutland Marathon is another one to add to my list of "races in the UK I'd like to do every year but probably won't cos other races keep popping up". There are some really great events out there now and I certainly recommend this one.
It didn't start so well for us though. We stayed in a hotel in Corby about 20 miles away and the plan was to drive to the start in plenty of time to do all the faffing. Gemma's car had a flat battery, not the only flat thing this weekend. It was completely dead. Luckily we spotted another runner in the carpark and managed to scrounge a lift off him. Andy Moseley of West Brommich Running Club thank you very much for helping us out and I have writen a nice list of British ultras for you to chose from :) And sorry for running off as son as we got out the car.
It was a bit of a walk from the car park to where we start. The organisers said "about a 15 minute walk" and we said "yeah yeah, 15 minutes is really 5 minutes innit?". It was a 20 minute jog.
I met up with Mark Cockbain and Steve Gordon and decided to run with them. We were right near the back and had to get past a few people to get some space, including having to pass a giant pair of tits (no, not Jedward but 2 girls who were dressed as large bossoms for charity). Mark recalled the Brighton Marathon where there were a giant pair of bollocks running. I don't remember seeing them through my helmet but it did remind me that for the second successive day I was wearing unsuitable pants.
It's shameful that I had grew up only 10 miles away from this place and never came here. It's a lovely place and everyone seemed to come here expecting a flat marathon. It wasn't quite like that. Though there were no major hills it was quite hard work throughout. Never was it flat, always slightly up or down and with cattle grids everywhere. They were like balancing beams. Later on in the race they were quite hard work, like walking a tightrope and falling off. I remember watching gladiators when I was young and taking the piss out of those people who fell off the narrow beam and had to do it again. I know what it's like now.
The route was around the water then 2 laps of the penninsula. It was all on hard track and the weather had been kind and prevented it from being muddy. Water stations were very frequent, about every 3 miles. The rain threatened a few times but it never came. It was very cool but I still leak fluid like a triathlete looking at the point of inflection of a HR vs Pace graph.
Ben had set off like a rocket at the start and recorded a great time of 3.08 and 7th place on a tough course. I tried to stick with Mark and Steve but got behind when I found a toilet cubicle with quilted toilet paper. I could have stayed there all day, particularly as my breakfast was a doner kebab flavoured pot noodle. Well, when in Leicestershire...
I felt quite rough for most of this though don't read too much into such things nowadays. I remember feeling similarly flat during the Two2Go marathon a few months ago but then 2 weeks later I had a great Spartathlon. I eventually finished in around 3.50, not far ahead of Gemma. That would have been embarrasing, glad I didn't spend too long with that quilted toilet paper.
Definitely one to put in the calendar for next year