No.8 – Richmond Park Marathon

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Eight down, twelve to go !

Hot, hilly and quite a few old deer’s.

Drove up to this one on the morning in the end and after a clear run up arrived in Richmond Park about 8.30. After a quick look around and a brief chat with the organisers I got myself ready unsure of what the weather was going to do.

Initial forecasts had some rain coming our way, so base layered up but with cap in hand just in case I wandered to the start, finding some BCRC buddies on the way ….. always a good way to start a marathon.

The run was made up of a 12 mile out and back section, followed by a couple of 7 mile loops, taking in mostly trails and hills. Shared with the local wildlife, many other runners, walkers and cyclists the park was understandably quite busy on a sunny Sunday morning.

The sun was shining from the off and it soon warmed up despite the occasional shade of the trees. The body seemed ok after last week, so I set off at a decent pace which was probably my first mistake. The first nine or ten miles went ok, although the hills were starting to have an effect. I was drinking quite a lot due to the heat, and I think a combination of the heat, the hills and probably a bit of residual tiredness kicked in from about half way.

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I ended up taking off my second mistake …. the base layer, shortly afterwards which did help cool me down. I wish I’d binned it in the end as I ended up carrying it the rest of the way round. From around seventeen miles on I was really feeling it, my Garmin was buzzing and bleeping at me all over the place telling me I was working a bit too hard so I adopted a run/walk strategy for the rest of the race.

Support was pretty good from the organisers and marshals, but also from the other park users. My t-shirt got quite a few positive comments and initiated a few conversations en-route which helped pass the time along with a few photo stops.

I jogged in at four hours sixteen minutes feeling pretty exhausted, did a quick interview with the organisers after they noticed my t-shirt and ended up a bit choked up ….. I blame it on the dodgy mars bar.

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Learning points :

  • Richmond Park is beautiful ….. and hilly
  • If I have to run up them I’m not so keen on hills
  • I should have known not to trust the weather forecast
  • I don’t like mars bars
  • Good marshals are worth their weight in gold
  • My left knee is coming out in sympathy with my right knee
  • A kick about with friends children isn’t the best post-race recovery, fun though !
  • This is getting to be quite tough

So, I was left feeling pretty knackered after this one, but what are you gonna do when kids want to play ? Get up and have a kick about right ? …. third mistake ! And having to drive back home afterwards wasn’t the best idea either. You live and learn ……

It was all worth it to meet up with friends again …. supporters too x

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