Brighton Marathon Day 2011 – Hot Hot Hot!
The day started at 8a.m. with a meeting at the clock in Preston Park. Here’s a picture of all of the Sunday run crew (minus Ed and Bob who are doing the London Marathon this weekend – good luck!!!)
From left to right – Rob, Brandon, Tim, Lucy, Neil, Jo and Michelle
This picture shows us all in our best state of the day! It was about to get alot hotter than this cool side of the park. We then all went our separate ways to queue up for the 9.00a.m start.
Whilst queueing for the start I got chatting to a couple of fellow runners – one from Fleet and another from Hastings. One was aiming for the same time as me – 3.45 and the other 3.15. We chatted about various runs we’d done before hearing the 10 countdown to the start. I was off and through the start line in about 30 seconds which was great. I settled into my 8 mile pace almost immediately, trying not to get carried away by the runners flying past me.
The route takes you round Preston park and into a loop in the Steine, then up St James Street into Kemptown and then out onto Marine parade and out towards Ovingdean. The seafront past the Marina had become very familiar in training so I felt hot but comfortable. My intention was to take a gel every hour (and to take a few gulps of water every few minutes) so I took my first one on the entrance to the Ovingdean loop of the course. I was starting to sweat and get very hot so I used the water at every water station to hydrate ansd then pour the rest on my head and back. My pace continued to be between 7.45 and 8.00 through to mile 10 where the course turns at Rottingdean to head back into Brighton and Hove.
I reached the half way point, just short of the pier at 1.45.51 exactly as I was hoping. The crowd round the pier were amazing – cheering and shouting encouraging all the runners. Although the day was extremely hot and difficult for the runenrs it was really inspiring having so many people cheering everyone on. The next stage took me along the seafront to the Drive – again another great spot for the crowds with a stage and live music. Then onto to New Church road to the end and back – a tough part of the course as doubling back to the Drive which always seems much harder.18 miles done.
Now entered the territory where the run gets tough. I was still averaging 8 minute miles but getting hotter, again using the water stations to hydrate and keep myself as cool as possible. Along the seafront to the lagoon and onto “Death Alley” (the part of the run that goes from the lagoon to Shoreham power station and back) mentally tough because you can see straight ahead for a mile. My pace was starting to drop to 8.30 as I rounded the harbour and went passed Carratts cafe.
The crowds were fantastic which all helps at this part of the race. Now there were about 4 miles left to go. Again head down and still grabbing water at every station (spaced a mile apart thankfully) I continued running between 8.30 and 8.45 miles. The last 3 miles are along the Hove seafront (which are familiar territory if you’ve run in Hove) so I was trying to keep going and keep the pace up. When I hit the last mile the crowds started to get bigger again and all the encouragement spurred me on to keep the pace and start pushing harder. Then when I could see the finish line I dug the last bit of effort to pick the pace up for the last 400 metres. Crossing the line was a sense of relief and happiness – a few minutes faster than last year, completed in 3.39 minutes. Job done.
This year’s training was different for several reasons. I personally trained 4 people for the race which was extremely rewarding and interesting to work with all of them for several months. Something that I hope to do next year with more runners. And of course to be part of Get Jogging on Wednesdays and Sundays. It was a real pleasure to run with everyone but especially the sunday runners who gave up their sunday lie-ins to go running for the marathon.
Training for the marathon can be lonely so the bond you build up with people on the long runs is strong, as the committment it takes to do so is not to be underestimated. A massive well done to you all for digging deep and committing to one of the toughest journeys you can make as a runner and individual. Anyone up for next year? 🙂
Finally good luck again to Ed and Bob in the London. You have all the support of your fellow Get Jogging members. Have a great day and enjoy the amazing experience of the London crowd. Please get some pics so we can share them with the rest of the members.
P.S. Here’s a pic of guy carrying a 13 kilo 12 foot tiger on his back for the marathon – respect!!!!!
P.P.S If anyone is looking for a sports massage, I will give 20% off for any Get Jogging members and Brighton marathon runners!