Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Wooden Spoon in the Toon

As I write this, I'm regretting the fact that I posted about my Newcastle Town Moor Marathon adventure - then I wouldn't feel obliged to report back on it.

I'll keep it brief.  I didn't quite go to plan, but I still got a PB.  Granted I haven't done a marathon for nearly five years, but when I set my previous best in London 2008 I had a really good run and was elated to finish in 3:31:00.

The race is 5 x 5+ mile lapped course on - not surprisingly - Newcastle's Town Moor.  I started out at 7:30m/m pace, which I was fairly confident of maintaining.  Unfortunately - as with all races - external factors can play a major part.  I didn't really mind the muck or and nasty grassy hill section, but the wind was really frustrating.  The Moor must be the windiest place in the earth.  I had read that on quite a few of the race reviews, so I knew it was quite an exposed course.

No toilet mishaps this time - honest!
I wanted to chuck it after the second lap - and that was before I dropped pace.  My heart just wasn't in it. I couldn't shake the negative thoughts and the devil my shoulder was telling me stop. My mojo has hitched a ride with the wind, but after some TTFU self-chat I decided just to go for the finish and forget time. I think lapping the chap who was pushing his disabled son in a jogging buggy gave me the royal kick up the butt I needed.  Plus after bullying and training (from scratch!) two of my friends at work to do the Loch Ness Marathon a few weeks earlier, I could hardly go back and tell them I DNF-d because I couldn't be ar&ed!

At the end of the forth lap I was half-expecting Sonic to go tearing passed me, so was quite relieved to make it without getting lapped.

I stopped to drink some Coke and then left to start my final lap.  I was trying to find out from the supporters who was leading the race, but was met by a head shakes and blank expressions. Then I saw Sonic standing in his civvies, as he'd pulled out because of his hamstring injury - or sense!  Then I REALLY wanted to pull up, but forced myself to keep going - even with the voices in my head saying: "Stop. Turn back.  You could be heading home now..."

Anyway, the voices lost and I finished 4th lady (1st vet) and 20th overall in 3:28Full results here.  Sonic is really kicking himself, as when he pulled up he was in third position and the guy in fourth went on to win it!

Although it has its challenges, it's a great race.  Really friendly.  And the marshals on the course were fantastic - all five times that I saw them.  I was glad I was running and not standing out there though!

1st 2.54.34 Steve Middleton M35 Thirsk & Sowerby Harriers

2nd 2.55.08 Richard Parker M45 Tynedale Harriers
3rd 2.59.34 Steven Prentice M35 North East Marathon Club

13th 3.14.51 Ann Hood FSNR UK Netrunner
18th  3.24.21 Andrea Dennison F45 Bingley Harriers
19th 3.25.17 Pauline Aitchson F40 Wooler Running Club

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