I like to run a variety of different marathons, from the mass road marathons like the “Marathon Majors” to small low key trail events. Sometimes I even enjoy hilly challenging courses more than the fast flat road races. From the mass road events category, the Robin Hood marathon is definitely one of my favourites. The start and the finish are at the same point in Victoria Park with plenty of parking, making it easy to get to and leave for all the runners. It’s a beautiful park, with its many mature trees lining the banks of the splendid river Trent which cups the park.
The course had changed this year, removing the boating lake which I’ve heard many runners complain about, as being boring and rather exposed and making for tough running conditions in windy weather. Instead the new course guided us into the Colwick Country Park, through its tree covered winding paths with views over some pretty little lakes. The blue skies and bright sunshine bought the best out of the park as we ran under the trees in the pleasant dappled shade. I could have stayed in there all day. The course then took us back into Nottingham, right into the main shopping centre to the town square with its water features and shoppers enjoying the warm late summer sunshine. The course did have its hilly bits including a second passing of the castle at about 19 miles before going out to the west of the centre and back into the university campus for the second time with a run through Trent House with its fabulous ornate court yard. Finally on to the finish along the banks of the river Trent, under the line of mature trees before finally turning left back into Victoria Park. The new course certainly had it lumps and bumps so not the fastest course but I definitely enjoyed the areas of Nottingham which it took me and all the other runners through.
As the marathon started with many thousands of half marathon runners the atmosphere at the start was fabulous. I don’t know exactly what makes me like this event so much, maybe it is it is a mix of all its ingredients which makes me so fond of it. The Robin Hood marathon certainly has a big city marathon feel about it, without any of the awkward logistics to contend with that come with some courses.
The weather was almost perfect for marathon running. The day started very foggy but cool and calm, absolutely perfect for marathon running. By the time I was into the second half of the race the sun had burnt away the fog to reveal blue sky. It did start to get a bit too warm for running towards the end but with plenty of shady parts to the course it wasn’t too bad.
My race ended up being a bit like the weather. For the first half I pushed the pace a bit just to test how long I could last and how fit I was. Sadly I found out I hadn’t got all my usual endurance and faded over the last 3 or 4 miles.
For the second year the event’s reward was a large, quality spinning medal, which I’m very proud to have earned.