Archive for April, 2009

Rotterdam Marathon

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

I signed up for this marathon in the winter after having unfinished business with the last one having failed to get the 3:30 target. It’s pretty flat, very fast, lots of competitors and well supported. Unfortunately my training’s been very poor, I was sick in December, and simply haven’t been motivated enough to do any long runs since, cycling has been more fun. My longest run pre-marathon was around 10miles. So not great preparation.

Annoyingly the organisers had me as a “recreational” runner, which means unlike the club runners (the majority) or the Elites, I wasn’t chip timed. So I needed to get myself near the front of the pens, and with some dodging and weaving past the crowds of club runners, I managed to end up crossing the start line only 12 seconds after the gun went.

Despite the manouvering, I was still passing a lot of very slow people strung across the road. I normally start too fast anyway, but with the added bonus of lots of people to pass and gaps to find, I started very fast. Up and across the Erasmus Bridge, 2km came by in 7:56, but I was still feeling pretty good running along with everyone and decided to keep at the pace, even if it turned out I couldn’t hold it.

The 5km mark was after a complete 180 turnaround coming back on the same road you were running down, so at 4.75km I could see the marker and looked at my garmin and then it hit me, I was going to get a sub 20minute 5km. But my 5km PB was 20:35, what was I doing going so fast? Sure enough the 5km marker was crossed with 19:38 on the clock, almost a minute off the 5km PB, but I still had the entire rest of the race to go, could I keep the pace up?

I couldn’t, the sun had come out more, and I was really beginning to overheat, I’d dressed for 9C and clouds, and it was about 15C and sunny. I pressed on, two more kilometers went by in 4:09 and 4:06. Then we had another bridge to go over, it wasn’t steep, hardly even a hill. Howevre my hip flexors which were hurting from about 30km in the last marathon began to scream at me today after only 7km, and I only managed the next two km in 4:11 and 4:10. I was definately slowing down a lot by now, but seeing the 9km marker and looking at the Garmin saying 35:55. I decided to press on and really work for the rest of the race, the time was still pretty good.

There were very few people around me, but I guy in blue came past and I tried to keep with him, and then just after a kink in the road, I saw the glorious site of the word FINISH over a gantry, and a clock counting down next do it. I sure was glad I’d swapped to the 10km race from the marathon the day before when collecting the numbers. With about 20m to go, the big clock rolled over the 40:00, and I crossed the line just beating the guy in blue to stop my Garmin at 39:51.

So a very pleasing outcome for the 10km - 93 seconds off of my PB. Marred by some disappointments - the leg pains that slowed me down and the lack of official result, that actually says I ran that time. They don’t even give me a gun time, which would’ve been 40:03, it’s as if I never ran the race.

I know I did, and I know it was a PB, I also know that 39minutes is probably doable on a good day on a similarly fast 10km with some actual training, so that should probably be my next goal