Lancaster Castle Marathon

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This was a new marathon for me and even now I’ve run it I’m struggling to be able to tell you whether it is a road or trail marathon. The course was made up of 3 out and back loops. The first was 10k and we ran this with runners who were actually doing the Lancaster 10k. This made for a good atmosphere but the paths were mainly tarmac cycle paths through suburbia which were a bit narrow for all the runners. The second loop took us out of Lancaster along the river estuary using mainly firm trails but due to the heavy overnight rain they were very wet and muddy in places. The third and final loop took us inland and was my favourite, following the course of the river Lune, on tarmac paths and often tree lined, quite pretty, rural and totally traffic free.

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Al the course was very flat and perfect for a PB attempt except for the very last quarter of a mile, was a really steep road, cobbled in places up to Lancaster castle in the city centre. It really got your heart racing but was certainly worth it to run through the castle gates to finish within the castle walls. The event was really well organised and I would definitely consider doing it again.

The weather driving up to the race was awful with very heavy rain, I got wet feet simply walking a few hundred yards from the car park to registration to collect my race number. Luckily the rain mainly stopped before the start and I ran most of the race in the dry and was even blessed with the odd spot of sunshine which was pleasantly warm when it showed itself.

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I was hoping for a sub 3:30 and started off well on track. I never like to drop litter and always like to get my water bottles which I’ve picked up from water stations in the bins provided. At about 8 miles the bin was very close to the water station so I gulped the water down quicker than I would normally so I could deposit it in the bin provided. I suffered for this and within half a mile was sick into the bushes at the side of the path. Over 290 marathons and this has never happened before! I find it amazing how I still keep experiencing new things, not all good I might add. You’d have thought I’d have experienced everything by now but obviously not. My stomach felt a bit off and I started to wonder if a sub 3:30 was going to happen. I pressed on and thankfully the stomach settled down. I was so pleased to run into the castle and clock a finishing time of 3:25:17 and my 98th sub 3:30 marathon. My goal of completing 100 feels like it is coming ever so close now.

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