First and foremost it must be said what a superb event this is. George Reid has something to be really proud of here - well supported and marshalled, run like clockwork without a hitch, friendly, and it feels like a *fun* event. The route is 16.5 miles along the Deeside Way from Duthie Park (Aberdeen) to Banchory then 16.5 miles back. To begin with, it isn't very scenic (unless you have a thing for looking at council estates) however it soon opens into a decent rural run over track. For 189 runners it never felt too congested which was excellent.
It was great to see some new and old faces. Definitely a friendly bunch and lots of pre-race chat kept the nerves in check. I really can't recommend this highly enough - a great day out!
Summary of my run:
- I ran with a new tshirt AND a new waist pouch. I had never worn these before the race. I'm not sure why I was so stupid but the combination was a good one and it worked out well for me!
- I have been training with Mike for the past month and a half. We had agreed that we would run the first 10 miles at 8:30 min miles and then the rest at 8 min miles. Personally I knew I could hold this pace until at least the 20 mile mark but was not sure how things would pan out after that.
- When the whistle went, it felt like a very fast start. We soon settled into a pace but were a little quicker than the 8:30 min miles as planned. With hindsight I should have slowed at this point and stuck to plan.
- Here are my splits (minutes per mile/heart rate bpm) for the race. There were toilet/water refilling/checkpoint stops at miles 8,17,22,25,26. In total I took 6mins 37secs for these necessary stops which I think I'm quite happy with.
- Basically I ran hard with Mike for the first 27 miles. We came in at the marathon point about 3:36ish. About mile 27 I had stopped for a gel and knew I'd needed to slow down. Mike ran on and I was happy to fall back to try and death march the final 6 miles.
- My death march wasn't as slow as I'd thought. Then at mile 31 Ian Beattie overtook me and I was determined to try to stay on his heels as long as possible. This really helped.
- My last mile wasn't too shabby considering the state I felt I was in.
- By my watch I came in at 4hrs 41mins which is pretty much the time I was after. Really can't complain about that.
- Even though it feels tough towards the end, it does not take much to help performace. For me, a little bit of competition seemed to stoke the fire.
- Running with a water bottle at 250ml meant I could run lighter. However, it also meant I had to stop at every water station which was a faff and lost time anyway.
- If you run at marathon pace (or as near as dammint) then you'll probably only be able to run a marathon- DUH!. With hindsight I'd rather have ran slower but stronger the whole distance than a decent marathon with a 6 mile shuffle.
- I felt sick after the 3:30 mark. I think I need a lot more variety in my food rather than just tortilla wraps and gels. Perhaps it was the heat but I need to think of extra food types to eat.
- A walk/run strategy during tough times isn't as slow as I thought and certainly isnt failure.
- In future I want to be less concerned with fast pace/heart rate and more concerned with enjoying myself!
The next race on the agenda will be the Highland Fling on 30th April. It is 53 miles over the first section of the West Highland Way. However, before I enter I want to run longer (both distance and time) just to make sure I can. To that end I think Mike and myself are going to run for a day in the hills sometime during the Easter holidays.
Thanks to those on facebook who I've nicked the piccies from :-)