I’ve been at it again! I completed the Fleetwood marathon on Sunday 29th August in 3 hours 41 minutes and 2 seconds.
It’s my 5th of the year and brings my grand total to 25.
For the first time in my running career I had a runner staying as a guest at my house the night before a race. It was David Bayley (affectionately known as Foxy to his friends) who is the race director of the Enigma marathon in Milton Keynes. I was pleased to be able to offer David a place to stay for the night especially after the kindness he had shown me when I took part in his Enigma Marathon on two occassions earlier this summer.
Foxy and I drove up to Fleetwood the morning of the race. We got to Fleetwood to be greeted with thick cloud and a very strong wind. About half an hour before the start there was even a horrible shower and things didn’t look good. The weather improved shortly into the run and the sun came out giving me sun burn on my forehead. The wind didn’t calm down and for long periods along the sea front it made running forward almost impossible. The wind whipped up the sand from the beach and it was like being sand blasted. We had to cover up our nose and mouth to stop inhaling the sand and run with one eye closed and the other half open to keep the stinging sand out. I have never experienced anything like it and would have preferred to run in hail! It was like having your skin exfoliated. On more then one occasion the wind was that strong it was blowing my back leg sidways, almost making me trip up over my front leg.
Running down towards Blackpool the wind was mainly behind us but at 16 miles when we turned back towards Fleetwood it was like hitting a wall. David left me and I soldiered on mile after mile into this relentless wind. As I was digging in against the wind I heard a shout and someone running up to me. It was Ian Harvey an old friend from Swinton Running Club, it was great to see him, we had a breif chat but I had to run on and say good bye. Next Heather, who is also doing the 10 in 10 in 2011 came along the side of me. I think we ended up supporting each other in the battle against the wind.
The last mile and a half coming back into Fleetwood the coast curves to the east making the wind once again favorable. I picked up my pace, left Heather behind and over took several more runners including Foxy, who likened me to a Gazelle when we met at the finish (a much appreciated comment, thanks Dave). Foxy came in with Heather, helping her to a PB, will done Heather. I was pleased with the marathon, I took it at a comfortable steady pace and felt good even at the finish, where some times I’ve felt sick in the past.