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Monday, 14 September 2015

Yorkshire Marathon 2015 (Week 8 of 12)

Week 8

Mon 7/9: (am) 4.0 miles @ 9:47/mile
Mon 7/9: (pm) 4.0 miles @ 9:04/mile
Tues 8/9: (am) 4.0 miles @ 8:55/mile
Tues 8/9: (pm) 4.0 miles @ 8:37/mile
Weds 9/9: (am) 4.0 miles @ 8:57/mile
Weds 9/9: (pm) 4.0 miles @ 8:50/mile
Thurs 10/9: (am) 4.0 miles @ 8:45/mile
Thurs 10/9: (pm) 4.0 miles @ 8:33/mile
Fri 11/9: (am) 4.0 miles @ 8:43/mile
Sat 12/9: 3.1 miles @ 9:20/mile
Sun 13/9:  Mary Anderson Colour Marathon 2:59:17 (6:51/mile)(7th)   [Hannah 2:57:50 (6:48/mile)(1st)]

Total Weekly Mileage:  65.31 Miles

Week 8 started with the interesting question of just how long does it take to recover from running 48 miles in a 12 hour period?

There was a little bit more heaviness than that experienced after a more 'normal' distance but not as much as might be expected, so that was good news.

The week consisted of the normal relaxed running followed by the best way to gauge marathon fitness - by running a marathon.

Saturday 12th September - Shore 10k, Killough, Co Down

A new record was set on Saturday morning as a sequence of three consecutive Saturday mornings without running a parkrun was completed, the longest such sequence since that first barcode was printed many moons ago.

After Run Directing at Bramley parkrun and last week's St Albans Enduro the third Saturday in the sequence took us to a lovely spot on the County Down coast, a place called Killough, for the Shore 10K.

Being sensible for once we didn't run this one but instead got trusted with the timekeeping duties:

As Hannah and myself did the button pressing we were expertly supervised by chief button pressing overseer, Lil Arth, from his elevated vantage point:

An enthusiastic start to the junior race:

Killough is a place of breathtaking scenery and provided the setting for the 2012 Academy Award winning film The Shore:

Some of the scenes were filmed in the local pub, The Anchor Bar, so there was only one place to go to recuperate from all that button pressing:

Race Director Mags Mathieson is a devout officianado of Prosecco so it took a wee while to convince her that the local speciality was a special creation called Black Prosecco :)

The scene for a gentle 5k run later in the day near Newcastle and overlooked by the Mourne Mountains:

Sunday 13th September - The Mary Anderson Colour Marathon, Carrickmore 2:59:17 (7th), Hannah 2:57:50 (1st)

Sunday involved a trip to the small village of Carrickmore in County Tyrone. The first thing to say about this village, and the surrounding area, is just how welcoming and friendly everyone is. 

It would be easy for anyone in mainland UK to do a bit of Googling, discovering that Carrickmore was cetainly no stranger to paramilitary activity in the past and be very wary of ever visiting the place. But that really would be a shame as the reality is that this is a great part of the world to visit, which is why we keep going back to do some more exploring :)

The one thing that is clear from the background of the photo below is that this area is not flat. We had seen a course profile of the route beforehand that gave the impression that it was going to be a relatively gentle, undulating course - it wasn't, it was tough!

The event had a very relaxed feel to it, especially with an element of James Campbell (The Monaghan 10 organiser) tomfoolery on the start line:

This may look like focussed contemplation of the race ahead just like what proper athletes do. However, in actuality Delfim Pimentel and myself were watching the impressive sight of a car being picked up and shifted by brute force to clear the race route:

All ready for the uphill start in Carrickmore Main Street outside the Patrician Hall :

In the early stages, Hannah settling into a steady rhythm:

......... and then quite enjoying her little self as things progressed:

Halfway - 1:25:31 (Hannah 1:28:39)

The first half of the race was all about seeing what the legs wanted to do. A consistent 6:30/mile seemed ok but it didn't really feel as though it was flowing as would normally be the case in the first half of a marathon. Hannah had a similar experience so it was readily explained by a bit of lingering muscle fatigue from the 12 hour effort 8 days earlier.

The halfway mat was crossed in 4th place although there was no way of knowing that at the time as there were relay runners mixed in with the full distance runners. 

The three leaders were still in sight just up ahead but there was sure to be some later acceleration with a recent 2:22 runner and a recent 2:31 runner in there somewhere.

However, anything can happen in a marathon and if one of the leaders ran into a bit of trouble then there would be a £200 cheque for 3rd place up for grabs. 

Hannah went though halfway in a more conservative 1:28:39 and 10th place, which as things turned out was just about perfectly judged.

The 2nd Half

As the race progressed into the second half it became a bit clearer why the leaders had approached the first half cautiously, there was no flat road to be found.

The flattest bits were as we passed through the villages of Loughmacrory and Sixmilecross:

As the hills kept rolling I could feel the pace gradually ebbing away, nothing dramatic but the sustainable pace for the remainder of the race was clearly going to be a bit slower than what had gone before. The legs still felt strong so there were no great concerns but it would still be nice to keep the overall time to sub 3 if possible.

At 22 miles I had slipped back to 7th place overall but was just eyeing up regaining 6th when a familiar voice appeared from behind. Appearing to be in a very jaunty mood for this stage of the race, Hannah came up alongside and then, after a brief swapping of notes, she eased off up the road to take that 6th place that I'd been eyeing up!

Over the next couple of miles she looked very relaxed as she opened up a good 200m gap. She usually holds together pretty well in the closing stages so things were looking good for a potential win.

For my part there seemed to be enough time to keep the final time under 3 hours but it wasn't a given as the 24 mile marker was passed. To try to make sure that the pace didn't drift too much the best approach in the circumstances was to pick a fight!

There was a relay runner just ahead who was currently in 5th place in that event. He had no idea that I wasn't also in that race so he rose to the challenge and inadvertently provided me with a perfect pacemaker for the next mile and a bit. He then faded but we were now in the closing stages and Hannah was about 300m up ahead just turning into the GAA club to enter the finish area.

Another photo, another smile - had she been smiling the whole way round? This was the final few metres coming into the finish to land the spoils:

And a minute and a bit later I eventually joined the party :)

As can be seen from the results below, Hannah's splits were well judged with just a 33 secs positive split. On the other hand, mine look as though I had a horrendous experience which really wasn't the case, it was just a case of letting the legs dictate their pace. 

A slower first half would have produced a better overall time but that is purely hindsight and in general terms it felt like a very positive experience on the road to York.

The medal was an impressively chunky offering, almost (but not quite) on a par with the Kent Roadrunner medal for it's part in the recent upsurge in A & E referrals for neck injuries :

The Ladies podium (from left) - Natalie Hall, Hannah, Tara Malone

Team Ormeau Runners bringing it home in the relay race in a time of 4:21:41, an impressive performance especially considering that most of the team are recent recruits to this running lark after becoming involved through a beginners running group linked to Ormeau parkrun and enthusiastically encouraged and cajoled by our good friends, Janine and Mark Ramsey.

Ormeau Runners - Nora Gilbody, Aine Ni,  Lynzi Kinnear, Janine Ramsey:

Not up to the standard of the Kent Roadrunner Marathon where marathon running and cartwheeling were a combined event :

The race report as presented on

Next Week: 

With 4 weeks to go to Yorkshire it feels like we've got plenty of the long stuff in the legs with the last 10 weeks having included two sub-3 marathons (Potteries and Mary Anderson Colour Marathon), a 48 mile effort (St Albans Enduro) and a 62.1 mile event (Thunder Run).

The remaining time will be for shorter races starting next week with a swiftish parkrun followed by the 2nd running of the excellent Vale of York Half Marathon on Sunday.

Marathon Building Blocks (getting a bit long now but this is the year in a nutshell once all the slow short runs are removed) :

15th Feb: 18.6 miles @ 6:16/mile
22nd Feb: 10.0 miles @ 6:04/mile
28th Feb: 3.1 miles @ 5:48/mile
28th Feb: 3.1 miles @ 5:50/mile
1st March: 13.1 miles @ 6:24/mile
8th March: 26.21 miles @ 6:23/mile
14th March: 3.1 miles @ 5:46/mile
14th March: 3.1 miles @ 5:36/mile
15th March: 20.0 miles @ 6:25/mile
21st March: 3.1 miles @ 5:45/mile
22nd March: 9.65 miles @ 6:18/mile
28th March: 3.1 miles @ 5:45/mile
29th March:  11.2 miles @ 6:08/mile)
4th April: 3.1 miles @ 6:00/mile
12th April: 26.21 miles @ 6:35/mile
18th April: 3.1 miles @ 5:40/mile
19th April: 5.8 miles @ 6:04/mile
26th April: 26.21 miles @ 6:32/mile
4th May: 26.21 miles @ 6:40/mile
6th May: 3.1 miles @ 5:36/mile
10th May: 13.1 miles @ 6:15/mile
13th May: 3.1 miles @ 5:36/mile
16th May: 3.1 miles @ 5:45/mile
17th May: 13.1 miles @ 6:03/mile
20th May: 3.1 miles @ 5:37/mile
23rd May: 3.1 miles @ 5:45/mile
24th May: 1.0 mile @ 5:07/mile
30th May: 26.21 miles @ 6:37/mile
6th Jun: 3.1 miles @ 5:58/mile
7th Jun: 13.1 miles @ 6:05/mile
10th Jun: 10.0 miles @ 6:20/mile
13th Jun: 3.1 miles @ 5:50/mile
14th Jun: 13.1 miles @ 6:02/mile
20th Jun: 3.1 miles @ 5:54/mile
20th Jun: 3.1 miles @ 5:40/mile
21st Jun: 6.21 miles @ 6:31/mile
25th Jun: 10.0 miles @ 5:57/mile
26th Jun: 13.1 miles @ 6:11/mile
27th Jun: 3.1 miles @ 5:57/mile
27th Jun: 6.21 miles @ 6:15/mile
28th Jun: 6.21 miles @ 6:42/mile
1st Jul: 1.0 miles @ 5:11/mile
5th Jul: 26.21 miles @ 6:35/mile
9th Jul: 3.1 miles @ 5:50/mile
11th Jul: 3.1 miles @ 5:54/mile
12th Jul: 3.1 miles @ 5:50/mile
18th Jul: 3.1 miles @ 5:57/mile
18th Jul: 6.21 miles @ 5:43/mile
19th Jul: 13.1 miles @ 6:15/mile
22nd Jul: 2.75 miles @ 5:50/mile
25th/26th Jul: 62.1 miles @ 8:00/mile
1st Aug: 3.1 miles @ 5:54/mile
1st Aug: 3.1 miles @ 6:47/mile
1st Aug: 6.21 miles @ 6:24/mile
2nd Aug: 13.1 miles @ 6:34/mile
6th Aug: 3.1 miles @ 5:49/mile
8th Aug: 3.1 miles @ 5:45/mile
9th Aug: 5.0 miles @ 5:57/mile
15th Aug: 3.1 miles @ 5:40/mile
16th Aug: 10.0 miles @ 6:00/mile
22nd Aug: 3.1 miles @ 5:52/mile
22nd Aug: 10.0 miles @ 6:15/mile
23rd Aug: 6.5 miles @ 6:19/mile
29th Aug: 1.0 miles @ 5:05/mile
30th Aug: 6.21 miles @ 5:58/mile
5th Sept: 48.0 miles @ 7:11/mile
13th Sept: 26.21 miles @ 6:51/mile

Recent Marathon Record

2009 April - Blackpool Marathon 3:24:17 (Age 42)
2009 September - Fleetwood Marathon DNF (Age 43)
2010 October - Amsterdam Marathon 3:04:27 (Age 44)
2010 November - Milton Keynes Track Marathon DNF (Age 44)
2011 April - London Marathon 3:18:30 (Age 44)
2012 April - London Marathon 2:57:04 (Age 45)
2012 October - Chester 2:55:36 (Age 46)
2013 April - London Marathon 3:11:29 (Age 46)
2013 June - Cork Marathon 3:06:19 (Age 47)
2013 October - Budapest Marathon 2:58:53 (Age 47)
2013 December - Lancaster Marathon 2:54:17 (Age 47) (1st)
2013 December - Pisa Marathon 2:54:09 (Age 47)
2014 April - Manchester Marathon 2:51:52 (Age 47)
2014 April - London Marathon 2:57:52 (Age 47)
2014 June - Rhyl Marathon 2:58:24 (Age 48)
2014 October - Yorkshire Marathon 2:47:34 (Age 48)
2014 October - Dublin Marathon 2:58:53 (Age 48)
2014 November - Town Moor Marathon 2:54:56 (Age 48) (1st)
2015 March - Wrexham Marathon 2:48:12 (Age 48) (5th)
2015 April - Canberra ACT Marathon 2:52:10 (Age 48) (15th)
2015 April - London Marathon 2:50:55 (Age 48)
2015 May - Belfast City Marathon 2:54:54 (Age 48) 
2015 May - Kent Roadrunner Marathon 2:53:34 (Age 49) (4th)
2015 July - Potteries Marathon 2:52:40 (Age 49) (6th)
2015 September - Mary Anderson Colour Marathon 2:59:17 (Age 49) (7th)

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