Spent the day in Brighton on the Saturday with my family, walked miles around the lanes and picked up my race pack, and with a White Number, I was in the sub 3:15 start, which is directly behind the Elite start at a seperate point from the mass start. This would ensure a clear run for the whole race, can safely say I would be one of the slowest from the sub 3:15 start (PB is 3:12.50).
Fast forward to Sunday morning, and a simple drive down to Brighton to Withdean Park (Elite + Sub 3:15 Start), and found a parking space only 50yards from the starting area, which was a result.
|Me looking a bit pensive/tired at the Elite / Sub 3:15 start point|
The idea was to head off at 3:10 pace and see what happened, so that's what I did, as there was a 3hr Pacer from this start, I just ensured he was going away from me slightly for the first few miles, but with a 6:46 first mile and the 3hr pacer still moving away (6:52 is 3hr Pace), I assume he was banking a bit of time, or was also a bit carried away on the first few miles. Having been the 4hr Pacer here in 2011, I thought I knew the course profile, but the climb around 5miles and the two hills between 10k and 9miles were much longer and steeper than I remember, I suppose that is the difference between pacing at a very comfortable pace, and racing at your max pace for a PB.
Had the usual chat with another couple of runners on the way round who were also aiming for 3:10 / 3:15, and I was on target at 10k and also at Half way, but could feel my legs complaining and the pace dropping a little between miles 15 - 18 which was reflected in my time at 30k (avg mile pace from 25K to 30K was slower than 3:10 schedule, but still just on schedule overall).
The sun had really come out by now which was nice, and I was so glad I had put a bit of sun cream on my neck and arms before the start. The crowds around 18 - 24miles were very sporadic, with next to no-one around the power station, which was fine, less people to see me trudging past at a now less than impressive pace. The final 4miles from the power station had the wind firmly against you, which was not ideal, but everyone had to contend with it, so can't complain. Certainly felt the weeks training in my quads for the last 8miles, my 2miles of hill reps on Thursday evening might have been the culprit :-)
During this last section I recognised a few runners ahead of me who had gone ahead earlier on who were also now struggling a little/lot like me, I offered a couple of words of encouragement as I speeded past (read, painfully slowly moved ahead), but I don't think it helped. It is plain to see from my mile splits that I lost any chance of a 3:10 in the last 5-6miles, and just about managed sub 8min miles for the last 4miles, so I was glad to see the 800m to go sign and managed to rustle up a 6:45pace last section for a 3:14:18 finish (238th of 9067 finishers).
I bumbed into Chris Howe as I was at the baggage collection area, and he had managed a fantastcic sub3 and a new PB, which I congratulated him on, he was very happy, and so he should be. I was happy once I had time to collect my thoughts (and my clothes, haha), as this was my 2nd fastest Marathon time, and I had trained hard in the week leading up to the race, so there is definitely a bit more to come in terms of faster times. I just need to put a bit more specific Marathon Pace work into my schedule and maybe have a bit of a taper (or at least an easy week) in the lead up to my next road mara. Watch this space as they say.