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New York Marathon

I was expecting tough and that was what I got !

I expected the bridges – Queensboro was the hardest even though the Verrezzano Narrows was the biggest climb, but being at the start it was fine. However I hadn’t reckoned on the 1+ mile long drag uphill around 23-24 miles : The combination of what it was and where it was, made it pure evil ! I had been going for a modest 4 hours and was roughly on schedule until that point. I lost 1 min/mile from mile 23 so was just outside my time.

What is it about US Marathons that require such an early start ? I had to get to the pickup point in mid town New York @5.30 am but fortunately being still mostly on GMT this made it more like 10.30am, a relative lie in. However arriving to the start area @7.00 am for a 10.10am start wasn’t fun : It may have been sunny but it was cold with a stiff breeze. It would have been terrible had it been raining as there was no shelter.

And then of course there was the long march … that being the long slog that the organisers make all runners do after the finish. Instead of being kind, giving you near immediate access to bag collection so that you can leave, there is either a mile walk for those who opted out of leaving a bag at the start for collection at the finish, to collect an official NYC Poncho or a 2 mile walk to collect your bag. Only once you’ve completed your walk, are you then ‘free’ to leave by an exit that is almost certainly the furthest point in Central Park from your chosen accommodation or the subway line you need …. Come on organisers there was no need for this ! No other major US or European marathon inflict this on their runners.

Chicago Marathon

Cold – ‘feels like temp’ of -1 degrees – but otherwise reasonable running conditions. Had this been a UK race of lesser importance, I would have deferred my place having been suffering from cold/cough since the Maidenhead Half. Time was slow as was expected under the circumstances.

Good race well organised but the security restrictions were perhaps over the top.

Interesting to note that when Mo Farah was introduced at the start, he got a big cheer from all sections of the runners.

Did you know that Chicago claims to have invented the Chocolate Brownie ?? One useless fact passed on …

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Summer League 2019

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London Marathon 2020

Doing OK in Club Championships ..

… Age Graded of course !!

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One for the Trophy Cabinet (ha ha)

3 April Marathons Done

I cannot say that my London Marathon time was good, just inside Good For Age but ~20 minutes slower my Nov 2018 Florence time. I suppose being the 3rd in the month is the reason. And a modest £500+ raised for the MS Trust.

 

Boston Marathon – Done !!

I don’t know how many “you got this John”, “Great Job John” & similar shouts I heard but there were hundreds of them : There may not have been as many spectators out supporting the runners as in London but they were magnificent. From the minute I arrived in Boston it was apparent that this was a Marathon put on by the peoples of Boston & surrounding areas and they owned it. Boston put on this Marathon rather than this being a Marathon in Boston. An experience not to be forgotten.

As a race it was challenging for many reasons the first being that 8 days prior had been my Manchester Marathon and the legs were still tired. But the weather … well that was way off being ideal. The Boston 2018 Marathon had been a storm with heavy continuous rain & strong winds and that is what started the moment I left my AIrBNB to get to the start @ 6.45 am. That carried on until 10am when I moved to the start pens. Fortunately that stopped and everything calmed down to what could have been good running conditions. My shoes even started to dry up at this point but as we began the race the sun came out. Temperatures climbed and the sun came on strong. But the support along the way was extraordinary and the sound at Wellesley College around half-way was deafening – click Wellesley College ‘Scream Tunnel’ to get some idea of what that was like.

I had in mind a modest but achievable 4 hour target but it became clear that this was going to be a stretch, having to take both salts and 2 cups of water at every mile. I subsequently was told that Massachusetts means rolling hills (or something like it) in the language of the indigenous Algonquin people – there were a lot of ups and downs but while my time was slow I can at least claim to have run every single incline & hill, including the infamous Heartbreak Hill. Indeed I wasn’t aware that I had got up that hill until I saw the sign at the top.

By the time I reached the last mile or so I was somewhat sunburnt but then the weather changed with a return of the torrential rain & winds reminiscent of the 2018 race. After finishing I grabbed my race bag, donned as much clothing as possible and made my way to the subway. I was both shivering cold, wet through and sunburnt at this point.

My slow time of 4h 7mins was incidental to the experience but I can at least be consoled by it being a Qualifying Time for Boston 2020 should I be minded to enter ….

It was special. And as a BTW here’s a good You Tube about the course.

 

MS Trust

Manchester …. Done

Done but in a poor time around 3h 54m …. Hoping for better in Boston on Monday.

John @ Manchester comp

Manchester….

MS Trust

Manchester Marathon 2019