The day started with the alarm going off at 4:40, I had already set everything out the night before, ate breakfast and promptly left the house at 5:30. For virtually the whole journey of 170 miles I was in fog reaching Luton at just gone 8am. When I left home the temperature was 8 degrees but in Luton it was a chilly 4 in the fog. I was bracing myself for a chilly run but shortly before the start the fog lifted revealing glorious sunshine. During the race the temperature was a very pleasant 10 degrees with hardly a breezy, perfect running conditions.
It was nice to see some of the familiar marathon faces before the race and catch up on a bit of marathon gossip. It was my first time at Luton after entering last year and it being cancelled at the last minute due to bad weather. I had never been to Luton and didn’t know what to expect. The course is 3 laps, undulating but not hilly. Maybe not quite a perfect PB course but certainly one where you can get a good time.
I planned to run a bit harder than of late and try to duck under 3:30 for my last road marathon of the year. I set off fairly hard with a 7 minute first mile and continued with several under 7 and a half. I kept the pressure on my pace and got to half way in 1:38:23. I realised I was well inside my target with an outside chance of a sub 3:20. I keep the pressure on and my miles continued around the 7 and a half minute miles, slipping occasionally. For the last 8 miles I also had a little battle with my friend Mike from Dunstable which was fun and helped. I eventually crossed the line with 3:20:33, my 29th marathon of the year and a session’s best. Very pleased with the run and I really enjoyed the whole day.