Tuesday, 23 September 2008


On the start line representing the club was defending champion Rob Ashworth, inform Rob Mcgrath and me!
With 1400ft of climbing and most of it in the second half this was no p.b. course but a very tough challenge!
Last year the two Rob's faced gale force winds and driving rain, this time we had almost perfect conditions with almost no wind and wall to wall sunshine, if anything it would prove a bit on the warm side!
Rob Ashworth sped away at the start, while Rob Mcgrath and myself hung back and stuck to a more sensible pace. The first 7 miles are mostly downhill and i really enjoyed cruising along and looking at the breath taking scenery,
Rob and me ran the early stages in a group of 5 runners including a very tall guy who had run 2.44 at this years London ! we were to later leave him well behind.
The serious climbing started at about 9 miles, we went through 10 miles in 1 hour 4 mins, by which point it was just Rob and me running together, I was feeling really good and started pushing the pace on the uphills. rob latter told me he was going through a rough patch.
By 17 miles i could feel my energy start to drain away and by 17.5 Rob started to pull away on one of the many climbs, at this point Rob Ashworth was coming into our view, it was pretty evident that he was going through a hard time as he laboured up the climb!
By 20 miles the 2 Robs were together while behind i was dropping back.
At 22 miles the final climb started, by now I was down to running on body fat as my carb stores ran out! This 2 mile climb was a bitter blow, despite suffering like hell i still passes 4 runners, one guy stopped as i dragged my body past him.
I was now running on pure will power [ i had nothing else left!] I wanted to walk, no I wanted to stop! I felt dehydrated and sick in my stomach, Each mile felt longer and harder, could I keep going!
Up ahead Rob Ashworth put in a last desperate attempt to break away from hard man Rob Mcgrath, Rob A got 50m advantage by the top of the hill but Rob M pulled him back at 25 miles.
At last i made my painful way to the final 1/4 mile, i just about got ready to turn in for the finish but the marshal shouted no and pointed to the next turn off 200m further on! how cruel, more climbing!
Some 4 minutes before, the same thing had happened to Rob Ashworth he uttered the words"BLOODY HELL" the two Robs came into the final straight neck and neck, both too tired to sprint, so they came to a spur of the moment gentleman's agreement and crossed the line together for 7th place in 2.54.
At last i got to the 26 mile sign and some how sprinted down to the finish line in 11th 2.58, only seconds later to collapse in a heap begging my wife for water!
THIS WAS MY TOUGHEST EVER MARATHON BY FAR and respect goes out to every single person who finished!
The virus that left me completely drained after only a 2 mile tempo run just a week before the marathon returned the day after the Marathon, [sore throat,cough and running nose ] I guess the virus never fully left my body and might explain why I felt so drained in the closing miles, but hell who knows!


Thomas said...

Wow, I didn't realise the hills were that big. Now I'm really impressed!

Manga Saf Saf said...

Well done Rick on hanging in on a very challenging course. The last miles are always more mental than physical. 11th place is fantastic. All those cross country hills during the year must have helped.

Grellan said...

Rick the last comment was from me. I didn't realise my daughter was logged on.


running faster with the ALIEN LIZARD said...

Thanks for the comments guys I look forward to reading about your own marathons soon!