Marathon #54 Richmond Park Trail London 4:33:37
After the horror stories that came out of Staplestown the day before because of the heat (particularly Liam Costello) I was worried about today. It was due to be hot and all reports had it as a hilly course which was amazing but unfortunately true, even though it was inside the M25.
We certainly haven't seen warm conditions close to this in about 9 months, and we are not built for it, so today I decided to play safe (particularly after a plea from my daughter) and decided to be sensible. I had in mind a 4:30 and if I was in trouble to slow down a little. This was also my 5th marathon in 5 weeks, my 14th of 2014 and 30th for the last 12 months. I may have been a little tired.
In addition, the day before I had my first big gardening day of 2014 with 4 hedges and 2 lawns done (4 hrs). I can't believe it but I actually slept in and didn't wake till 7:30 and had to rush breakfast. Not a brilliant start to marathon day. Fortunately Richmond is only a 45 minute drive and on a Sunday morning there was no traffic and it was a late start at 9:30am. I was there plenty early, and lathered on the Sun cream.
About 400 started and we were off on time at 9:30am led out bizarrely
I came through half way in 2:10 and entered now into 2x7.1 mile loops. These were all on trail and had some tough tough climbs. I have never seen as many people walk in a marathon from about 10 miles out. The heat was taking a big toll today. I stayed mid pack all the way through the race. The trails were open to the public and there were lots of walkers and mountain bikes and a lot of kids learning to ride a bike. You had to have your wits around you but there was plenty of encouragement all around the course.
I struggled particularly in the last 7 mile loop but so was everyone else and I gained around 10 places on this loop despite this.
I eventually finished at 4:33 just outside my target time but given the heat
and the hills it was a big effort today. At the end there was a great T-Shirt, a souvenir mug a great goodie bag as well a fantastic medal. I really enjoyed today and would have no hesitation recommending it and will do it again.
Garmin stats for today