I have lost another race. This time a marathon, but not for want of pace at the finishing line. The event was in Cardiff on Sunday 3 Oct 04, with Hurricane Ivan predicted to make landfall just as we reached the tip of the Severn Barage. As it was the weather was fine (i.e. coolish and damp) but for the last six miles, when it rained a little too much. And the course was mostly attractive, taking in not only the barrage but the castle keep and the millennium stadium.
We -- that's me and Sean M, my hoary pacer -- ran a very solid, conservative perhaps, run, with a nice negative split over the two halves and a fast 10k at the end. This meant that we passed people consistently for the second half, and looked good. At least on the outside. I could have done it faster, it seems, but I'm new to these things, and was too timid to push it until mile no. 23. At which point I'd hit approximately 3:11 and had therefore kissed goodbye to my target time of 3:30. Still, there's nothing quite like running a string of 7'20"s when you've 22 already under your belt, and ending up in the millennium stadium still feeling strong. In case you're wondering I am well, entirely vertical, and even if my quads are a little sore I ran a good 7.7 mi this morning, at fractionally under marathon pace.
JR's race time: 3:34.47
average pace c. 8'11"
pace at finish line: 4'34" (!)
c. 1200 entrants in full marathon; 828 completed
fastest time: 2:09.10; fastest time not in a wheelchair: 2:28.33 (second was 8 mins slower)
Thank you all for your continuing tolerance.