18th February 2012
Beesands, South Devon
28.5 miles, 5100 ft ascent/descent
My first marathon of the year and the official start of my training for the Gore Tex Transalpine stage race in September. At 28.5 miles its also the furthest I have ever run so I was apprehensive to say the least. The Endurance Life races always pull a pretty serious and experienced crowd, so I kept my fears to myself as ultra runner veterans wandered about at the start line, chatting about races they were planning on doing the next day!
We set off at 8.15 in a bit of rain and high wind but the sun soon came out. The first 10 miles were really spectacular, all along the South Devon coastline. The views and rocky paths made the first half really enjoyable and I chatted to quite a few runners, a very friendly bunch as it turned out. Unfortunately half way through an old knee injury kicked in and started causing me some serious pain. From that point on it was just ‘get your head down and finish the bl**dy thing!” There were 4 water stops so a handful of jelly babies at each one and a couple of my favourite tracks on continuous repeat helped me along. The last quarter was a real hard slog, with rain, hail and a strong headwind. I was extremely pleased to see the race HQ marquee from the top of the last hill. All in all, a great race and one I would definitely do again although hopefully injury free next time. My next race is their Sussex Coastal Marathon next month so fingers crossed I sort it out by then!
Kris ran with me despite being entered in the Ultra. Having him next to me definitely helped when me knee pain kicked in and also meant that I was in nearly all of his photos (he runs most events with a camera) so I’ve nicked a few! (see his blog for the rest of them)