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“...’undulating’ but knackered and over heating – it’s hilly”


“Up to about 10 miles there may have been as many as 50 people in the group. By the finish there was one person with me, but I completed the race in 3:09:42 – the heat got a lot of runners. “Everything about the experience was


marshalls, setting up barriers, putting up mile markers, getting water to water stations and T-shirts to the finish.” For these volunteers, it’s done for love, not money, (oh, and “a T-shirt, camaraderie and some nice food,” says Caroline).


The sub 3:10 pacemaker from the Clif Bar pace team “I have a reputation for being able to run to a pace and not get excited,” says Mark Shepherd, 40, the 3:10 pacer. “This came about while using marathons and shorter distance ultras for 100k. “I got a cramp at 24 miles. The pace


was easy, but having run 100k two weeks before, I was, on reflection a little hydration/nutrition lazy on a hot day.


brilliant (except for not getting enough people to the finish). I have already offered to do it again.” Read more on Mark’s blog at http:// gobi70.wordpress.com.


Fiona’s race… “And finally, here’s how my race went... Eighteen weeks of training injury-free, a couple of good tune-up races… things seemed to be in place for a personal best – my goal sub 3:10. “I ran with Gobi-one (AKA Mark Shepherd), the 3:10 pacer. At around 12 miles he reminded the pack (or as he called us, the ‘train’) that at ‘half way you should be finding it easy and be wanting to hold back’. ‘Sadly, I’m not feeling that today,’ I muttered, ‘Then you stay right here,’ he said… If only! “The first half of the Brighton Marathon is undulating, but when you’re knackered, overheating and not running to form it’s hilly! As I had to work to stay with the ‘train’ at around eight miles and 10 miles, I knew that I was working too


hard. At 14 miles I was hanging on, and at 15 and again at 16… but then my ability to keep to the pace just went! “I’d been shoving in Clif Bar blocks,


gels and water like someone who’d been starved. I’d poured cold water on my head and I’d run through the showers – slowly to get the full benefit of the cooling water, but to no avail. “Come 20 miles, I felt like I was


crawling, and my mind went. Looking at my Garmin after I saw my pace had dropped to almost eight minutes per mile, then 8:16 for two miles, three women went past – normally this would spur me on but there was nothing in the tank. I thought about pulling out. “As I approached the finish, I decided


to run away from 3:20 – which is where I’d been heading – and run as close to 3:15 as I could. My legs were in agony and it was almost like I was listening to someone else as I grunted and breathed heavily and ‘ran’ to the finish, crossing the line in 3:16:17. “It took me eight minutes more to run the second half, and my finish time was four minutes slower than last year. But I’d finished, I dragged myself through the pain! I was 16th woman of around 4,000 and even though it wasn’t my day, I’m pleased to say I’m ready for more…





RUNNING FREE n 39


RACES


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