Firstly many thanks to all of those who came down to support, my last 3 marathons I have been without support and it really does it really does lift you seeing friendly faces around the course.
Brighton is a bit of a mixed bag, the support is probably second only to London for a UK race and the sections through the town and out to Ovingdean are really scenic. One other plus point of the course is the amount of switchbacks which provide several chances to see fellow Harriers along route. However the last section from 20 miles around the power station is rather soul destroying. This year we also had an easterly wind which meant running uphill to Ovingdean into the wind (which no doubt cost us energy) and the last 5 miles which were straight into the wind (unfortunately not quite what Bob had promised L)!
Personally this has been the worst run up into a marathon I can remember with injury affecting the volume but more importantly the quality of my training sessions. However as my marathon goal had been achieved last year I went for a nothing ventured, nothing gained approach and set off at 2:55 pace (I fully expected to blow up). To my surprise it went better than expected (I was faster than my Hastings time at half way and sub 2:15 at 20 miles) and was on track for a decent PB up to 21.4 miles (the switch back). However the wind seemed to be stronger than earlier and my pace fell off a cliff (around 30 seconds/km). I managed to finish In 3:02:58 (a massive 5 second course), which given what I thought I was capable of a few weeks ago and conditions I will take. I am amazed at the number of personal bests and age group bests people managed to set given these conditions, massive well done to you all! Please also spare a thought for Ollie Smeed who unfortunately could not continue and had to drop out at 20 miles after finding himself coming round and being surrounded by St John’s ambulance.
So if 2018 was the year of hot races, 2019 seems to be the year of windy races, well at least for races I do. Fingers crossed that London will be neither of these (be ideal conditions as I’m not running no doubt) and best of luck to all of you. Also lets hope they don’t change the GFA again!
So what next, well the main race of the year of course the Darent Valley 10K on the 12th May. This is not only a fast course (if your name is Mark Taylor, perhaps not for us mere mortals), but also the next Kent GP event, so get signed up (http://www.swanleyanddistrictac.org/Articles/GetPage?PageID=22&HeadingID=1&PageTitle=Darent%20Valley%2010k) . For those that were not at the AGM, I volunteered for the Road Race captain role so I shall be pestering you all from now on J. But in all seriousness a large team would be excellent as we have some catching up to do for both teams.
Strava quotes from those on the Harriers group:
- Brighton Marathon – What a breeze! – Rich Quartermaine
- Brighton Marathon PB GFA!! ♀️ – Gemma Stillard
- Watch finally uploaded to Strava – Patrick Bareham
- Brighton Marathon 2019 – Kelvin Desmoyers-Davis
Everyone else join the group (and add amusing run titles) – https://www.strava.com/clubs/163451