Our Marathon Man, Steve Edwards, has been having a rest, or so it appears, when you look back at the Marathon schedule that he has run so far this year. However he is back! Marathon Number 480 completed at Faversham, Kent on Saturday 25th July 2009 – a first place and a course record.What a return!
Here is Steve’s Race Report.
Its been 10 weeks since running a marathon, purposely done to give myself a rest from the distance after completing the 10in10 in May. So having only done a half marathon and 10k since then, it was going to be interesting to see how I got on running 26.2 miles again after this break.
Faversham is a fairly small but extremely well organised event, just 30 runners in the marathon and about 20 runners in the accompanying 6 hour race. The reason for the limited entry is because it is run at the recreation ground which is just over 1km long around the perimeter footpath. Therefore just over 40 laps and the need for lap counters! I remember how difficult this was from when I did it before, not only the mental aspect of repeated laps, but also the fact there’s a small climb on the route which of course you do 40 times, so it seems to get steeper every time you go round!
I set off at my normal 3:15’sh marathon pace for the first mile and felt pretty good, I was in second place and so increased the speed to around 3:05 – 3:10 pace trying to maintain my position. Then somebody else joined me and between us, we passed the first runner to move into joint first place. This we kept going for another couple of laps until I speeded up ever so slightly again and moved into the lead. I gradually pulled away such that I got to halfway in 1:32, over half a lap ahead of my nearest rival and nearly 2 laps ahead of 3rd place. It was getting a little warmer now and although I was starting to feel the pace a little, I kept banging out the laps at the same pace trying to maintain my lead until just over 30 laps where I went through a bit of a tired patch and slowed slightly. However, when I saw the 2nd placed runner just ahead of me, it meant I was about to lap him and this spurred me on again. Once I passed him I knew all I had to do was to stay near him and there would be no danger of not finishing first with the 3rd place runner being nearly 4 laps behind at this point.
However, I then remembered the course record of 3:12 which I was also on course to beat by a big margin if I kept going strongly, so I picked up again and tried to continue lapping at the same pace. Apart from a couple of slower laps towards the end, I finished strongly in 3:05 to not only finish 1st but also set a new course record. This was my second marathon win of the year, so I was very pleased and to get a course record is always a bonus and not something I’ve ever done before.
So that’s 480 marathons done, leaving just 20 to go. The plan was always to finish the challenge in 2012 and that is still the plan. As I have no intention of slowing down, I have now added a small factor to that plan which I will be announcing in the coming weeks. It will make the challenge a whole lot more difficult but also more rewarding if I were able to achieve it. Watch this space.
Source: Steve Edwards