Sunday, 23 May 2010

Edinburgh Marathon 2010: Ignition accomplished

I woke in Fife at 7am in the hotel we found (no where near Edinburgh) with the rain belting down and a low cloud. Terrific! Things dried out steadily as we went south arriving in Auld Reekie and parking up at 9am off George Street. We could do this because Edinburgh doesn't charge for Street parking on Sunday. Very civilised.

We grabbed a coffee in Hanover Street and I just had time to pin on my 5 gels before I vaulted the red zone fence and donned my 'skull and crossbones' bandanna. I don't usually run with headwear but I expected the sun to make an appearance. The Edinburgh marathon kicked off at 9:50, off we went and by 2 miles it was 'sun up'. I caught up briefly for a blether with Stuart Hay of Dunbar at 4 miles before he went off ahead.

It was a cruise to 8 miles and the name of the game was banking energy,not time. If it looked like water, I drank it (all of it) and gelled up every 30 minutes. It was a disciplined run. I worked through all the tips I'd been given and went past the 1/2 marathon mark at 1: 25 something. The split-times I'd written on my arm for a 2:58 had begun to fade rapidly with the thermometer bouncing around 25 degrees and so much water sloshing around. It occured to me at 15 miles that my recent trip to Oz may have been been useful. The Forth was pan flat and glassy. There was very little wind. Even the stacks of Cockenzie Power Station had a certain attraction as we passed Prestonpans and made our way up in the searing heat to Longniddry.

I had passed Stuart Hay at 10 miles and Steve Ogg of Carnegie at 14 and wondered whether I would pay for this pace later. At 17 miles a dull pain in my medial ligament began to distract me and I wobbled badly between 18 and 21 miles which found me reaching (more fumbling) for the MP3 and the salt. However, once suitably plugged and lightly salted at 22 miles and with my last gel on board (and oddly the knee pain dissipating to nothing), the energy conservation plan was old hat and I put the head down, had enough to open my stride (ok, fractionally) and ploughed on to finish 2:55 and hobble back to the baggage lorries which were a good walk away.
Tough, this marathon lark. (Some more marathon photos to follow)

1 comment:

Stuart said...

Good time in those conditions Alistair. Well done.

The heat really took the wheels off my plan. Didn't help that I started too quick as well.

Strange, but I had my "ideal" mile pace written on the back of my hand as well - that ended up getting rubbed off at the 24 mile marker!!