Monday 29 May 2017


#187 Sat Night Marathon
#188 Jeskyns Challenge

Start/Finish Weir Pub (packed)
34 starters
It was forecast hot hot hot for the weekend and I still had the gammy knee.  My goal this weekend was to survive and make it to the start line of Endura 24. I was quite prepared to stop short and take it easy.

Knee update: I had gone this week to a Physio and had a deep tissue massage that beat the crap out of me. I also had not run at all and invested in a new knee strap. In fact I wore 2 knee straps, one that put pressure on the IT band, and one over the top that kept everything secure. Biofreeze, Voltorol and Advil were all employed.

Well strapped up
Brenda (finished together)
Sat was an unusual and cheap marathon. The medals had been donated by Paul Ali (I presume from the Sat night Thames marathon 2016) and was staged by Phoenix running. It was on the 8 lap circuit in Walton on Thames. As it was a marathon it was all or nothing.

With a soft 7 hour cuttoff and a 4pm start, my plan was to take it very easy and try for a 6hr marathon which meant that I probably would finish in the dark (with a head torch). A relatively modest 36 started (34 finished marathon) with quite a few having done the Kent circuit marathon earlier in the day and quite a few more going on to do more on Sunday in Dorset and Kent. There were a couple who didnt make it from the Kent event for various reasons.

Eddie had a stormer of a first half
All done just before dusk
I started off very tentatively on the first few laps taking it real easy. The knee held together and I continued on at a very even pace. It was hot, very humid and I was glad to see the aid station every 3.25 miles. There was noone really fast today and it was a great atmosphere with plenty of chats and stops for Ice Cream and drinks on the way. The tow path itself was jammers with dog walkers as usual and the pub en-route was heaving. I came through half way in 2:25 protecting the knee all the way. My plan was always to go slower in the second half and walk if need be. I had all night after all.

Nice medals
Ever present Brian Mills
A mini goal was 40 mins for a lap and knocked these off without issue. Brenda joined me for the last two laps. In the dusk the temperature dropped a little and it was absolutely beautiful along the tow path with party boats going past and people out drinking by the river from their homes on the far side. Knowing we had tomorrow to go we gently finished the run off in a steady 5hrs 20mins. Nothing dramatic and I was delighted to be painless.

Really roasting
A quick trip down the M3 to drop Brenda off and a few hours in bed had me picking her up again at 5:45 am to make it to Jeskyns Park nr Gravesend for the 7:30 am start at the Jeskyns Challenge. It was forecast even hotter today and it did not disappoint with close to 30 degrees and very high humidity making for one of the toughest running days ever. The course itself was wholly contained within the country park either on packed gravel wide paths or grass trails along the outside of the park. The park was jammed full of dog walkers (off their leads) and you had to have your whits about you not to get tripped up. I seen 2 runners get bowled over by dogs and I got hassled badly by one as well. Apart from that it was a surprisingly hilly course and slow slow slow.

8 laps was a marathon and I had 6 hrs in mind. This is a relatively pedestrian pace and I decided to walk all the hills. The heat and humidity were the issues today and everyone suffered. As most were on multiples this weekend the pace from everyone was way down and very few broke 4 hours or even 4hrs 30. The norm was between 5 and 6 hrs. So I had plenty of company.

Jenny Lee
It was a very tough but sociable run. I ran very evenly with each 3.25 mile loop taking between 40 and 45 mins. 2:59 brought me through half way and 3:01 finished off the marathon in 6hrs even. My knee survived, I spent a lot of time on my feet and finished both days. That was all I wanted to achieve.

Now for some more rest and hopefully more recovery.

Stats for the day.

Sat Night Marathon

Jeskyns Challenge

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