|Date:||20 Feb 2016|
|Comments:||This was Ulen Neale's 100th Marathon and thought i ought to show willing and
go and run the event as he had supported me through the night on my 100k a
while back I owed him something!
Well what can I say about this event other than bizarre, probably the most surreal marathon I have run just beating the other Ulen inspired Marathon of running round a lake in Milton Keynes that I did, the 18.104.22.168.13. Marathon!
The idea of running 12.96 lots of 2 mile laps of a cycle path in Deal in February had me rushing to sign up for this "once in a life time event" (once in life time for me, a lot of these natters run Marathons round here regularly!). Even more strange when I turned up to find out there was more than one "race" using the term race loosely, going on.
A Handicap event where competitors had a start time based on average time for their last 5 Marathons, a bit like our time trial only 6 and a bit times longer over a route half as long! As I was not in the handicap event I discovered I could start when I wanted to as long as I was finished in time for the AGM!
I didn't think I should start at the same time as Ulen as he is quicker than me and as I wanted to using this as a training paced run I didn't want to feel that I had to try to keep pace with him!
Ulen was starting at 9.27 and having arrived shortly after 8.30 there was no point hanging around in the Deal February sub tropical climate getting cold like you normally do waiting for the start so I used the facilities and set off.
This was meant to be an 8.50 start but after my usual faffing about it turned out to be 8.52. No chip timing or even clock, the event relies on my "official start time" and then my actual time of finish being recorded (very prehistoric by today's standards), hence why I have recorded my actual watch time as I started it when i did ( i.e. 2 minutes later than my official start time) and only stopped it at the finish line!
So because of this pick your own start time when we arrived there were already "athletes" running. So I started the event entirely on my own, had no idea how long the others on the circuit had been running or what distance they had covered. I had 35 minutes head start on Ulen and when it got to his start time of 9.27 I had covered about 3.4 miles and hoped this would be enough of a head start for me to finish before he did so that I could witness the finish and record it for prosperity!
I set out to pace myself for as long as i could at 10.30 per mile pace and did this pretty well until I 1st stopped at the HQ / finish area about 16 miles to pick up more drink. I lapped more than 1 athlete several times who I never actually saw running at all, one had a flipping great big puffa jacket on that you couldn't possibly run in! I also got lapped by some very speedy runners several times as well and on my last lap around 25.6 miles I got caught up by Ulen himself who was on his penultimate lap around 23.5 miles.
In order to keep count of the laps they gave you one of those climbing link thingys with 12 bands on and the idea was that at the end of each circuit you dropped one in the bucket. Seamed like a good idea at the time but it was quite a game trying to hold onto your drinks bottle, unclip this hook and remove just one of these bands with gloves on all while still trying to run. Needless to say by the time I had done 8 of the 13 circuits I had lost a few of these bands but fortunately my Garmin distance and the fact that I knew it was a 2 mile circuit meant I could work out how many laps I had left to do!
I managed to make it to the finish before the Centurian arrived and just before it got even windier, even colder and even wetter!
The positives from this run were a great goody bag containing lots of chocolate crisps and Cider in fact all the calories i had just shed on the way round and a huge medal. I enjoyed my weekend, can recommend the Dover East Premier Inn the all you can eat full English Breakfast in the Brewers Fare before the Marathon was great and I even won the Premier Inn daily raffle!
The very next day a lot of these strange people did it all again in another Marathon round the same 2 mile circuit called the good the bad and the ugly Marathon which was very fitting because on the Saturday I had certainly met some very good runners, some very bad "runners" and one or two pretty Ugly runners (not you Ulen)
|Previous HRR results:||None found.|