Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Belfast Marathon 2007

Article by K.A.

May 7th was the May Day bank holiday and, as usual, the Belfast Marathon had been timed to coincide with this. Jenny and I had both entered the marathon relay and both of us chose the longest 7.1 mile route for different reasons.

For me it was because I was in a running group and it seemed doable, for Jen it was because she needed an extra member on her team and this was the bargain she reached - she'd run the longest leg as a challenge if the fifth member of their team joined up.

But before the marathon had even began there was trouble brewing - the first two legs ran around ouur area and meant the roads were completely closed. There was no way for us to get out of the house to make it to the start of our leg on time! Eventually we managed to get a taxi through the course, but by the time we got to our start points we were thirty minutes late.

Apologising terribly I headed off on what I knew was going to be a hard leg: 7.1 miles, mostly uphill and with the rain looming ever closer. However the rain soon disappeared from my mind as I started to struggle only two miles into the course. Typically I had started too quickly in a useless attempt at making up some of the thirty minutes that I had caused the team to drop.

The first part of the run was filled with ups and downs, not a single flat road in sight. Once we hit the Antrim Road the trouble really started. This looked like an ordinary and relatively easy road, but it was deceptive as it slowly climbs its way uphill towards the Belfast Zoo and Glengormley. The contour map doesn't do justice to the height of the climb and, looking back, I could have sworn we were much more than 100m's above the city. It certainly felt like we'd climbed more!

The downhill run to Gideon's Green was thankfully rather easy and I found it strange that it was here that BPM (the energy drink company) had decided to give out free drinks to competitors. Perhaps it was more for the full marathon runners than the relay runners. Whatever their reasons it hadn't even began to kick in when I hit Gideons Green, passed the batton my team mate and practically collapsed on the grass!

That made a total time of 1 hour 15 minutes (from 11:05 to 12:20) or 10 minutes 34 seconds per mile. Slower than last year by about half a mile per hour, but a longer and much demanding course. It works out at just under 6mph - pretty slow when you look at it that way!

Jenny came in a speedy 15 minutes after me at 12:35, around 12 minutes 41 per mile. Not bad at all for someone who claimed they were going to "probably end up walking more than running". Obviously she surpassed herself this time round and we've been so spurred by this that we've already entered the Lisburn 10k run. Anyone else up to the challenge?

A full map of the Belfast Marathon and more information can be found here.


Blogger Lou said...

You crazy fools!

1:44 am  

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