Sunday, 4 November 2012

Rutland Water Marathon 2012

So this morning I undertook my tenth ever marathon at Rutland Water. I entered this last minute and it was mainly to get my 10 while still 25 goal which I'd arbitrarily decided on after Loch Ness! I was also curious to see how my legs would fare doing 2 marathons just a month apart...if I would be stronger the second time etc. I was also excited to run somewhere different.

On the run up to this race my long runs since Loch Ness had been:
7miles fast, 14miles fast, 13.8miles slow, 12miles fast.

The marathon is basically a lap of the Rutland Water resevoir near Oakham in Leicestershire, with 2 laps of the peninsula in the middle. I had my doubts when the comments mentioned it was "hilly"...but it actually turned out to be a pretty undulating route the whole way...which was tough in the last few miles.

Overall, the race had its pros, but I would say the cons outweighed them in the end. More to follow.

Was out the door by 7.45am and arrived at the car park at 8.30am. I was a bit annoyed that we had to pay for parking given that the whole car park wasn't even in use. From the car park it was a 20min walk to the start line and it was absolutely freezing. My hands and toes were numb by the time I got to the start line. It was about 3*C and had been raining all morning. We were at the start to register, as I had entered late. By the time I got my number and paid (£35 - DEFINITELY NOT WORTH IT, another gripe) the guy was announcing 30secs until the start. There were still flocks of people coming from the car park and even when we started Derek said people were still arriving at the start.

I started quite far back, I think there were about 400 people running. As we started though I began to move forward and kept a steady pace most of the way. Just over 7 miles I checked my phone which said 10am. I was managing to drink my lucozade and kept really well hydrated. Just about 6 miles it started raining though and didn't stop again. I got soaked through (despite wearing my waterproof jacket) and gradually lost all feeling in my fingers and toes. I found I was overtaking people quite a lot of the way and about 7 miles a marshall told me I was 5th female which was quite surprising.

I continued to run strong and took a gel from the water station at about 10miles and 16miles. These gels were much better and I found them much easier to take than those in Loch Ness. I passed a woman who was wearing barely any clothes, she must have been freezing! About 19miles I passed a second woman who I had been running behind for a while. She said something about me being behind her for ages and I chatted to her a bit. It was her first marathon. There were quite a few hills after that so I pushed on ahead and passed some men as well.

The last 5 miles were really tough. It was raining heavily now and I was so so cold. It was also quite hilly - there were a few uphill slogs in the last couple of miles which slowed me down quite a bit. The path was very flooded as well and I was having to trudge through quite a few puddles, plus numerous cattle grids. There was also a bit of a lack of support towards the end, where the support had been quite good earlier. I eventually saw the finish in sight and picked the pace up, finishing in 3h41mins. There were a few people at the finish but most people just finished and then left as it was so dreich.  I was SO cold, we just got a coffee and then left.

So, not a fantastic time but good for the conditions I felt. I think I may have been 3rd female which is also quite good. The goody bag was very sparse though, with a technical vest that didn't even have the race name on it. And there was no medal. So for £35 you get very, very little for your money, considering you have to pay for parking too. Oh, and there were no professional photographers either, so no mementos of the day. On the plus side, the marshals (possibly military/RAF folks) were helpful and friendly. Where support existed too that was good. And the course was fairly pretty, though nothing to "write home" about.

I wouldn't do this race again and wouldn't really recommend it to be honest, which is the first time I have said that about a race. Considering the entry fee for Loch Ness is about the same you get so much more for your money, plus a friendlier, better organised, better supported race. For my tenth marathon though it was certainly an experience, and my legs aren't too stiff now which I'm pleased about. If photos become available online I will post some.

1 comment:

John Kynaston said...

Well done Christine though it sounds like you didn't enjoy it too much!

When I lived in Leicester between 1982-85 I used to Windsurf at Rutland Water so know the area quite well.

Congrats on your 10 by 25!!