We started the day with a trip to the Cliffs of Moher, which are still as spectacular as I remember them from my last visit, which had been about 20 years earlier, and even the kids admitted to being impressed.
Today's marathon started at the earlier time of 2 o'clock, which would see us running right through the hottest part of the day. I announced loud and clearly to Stu and Rik that I was going to take it easier today as I was feeling yesterday's effort, but I'm not sure I managed to convince them. Nevertheless I wasn't kidding and was perfectly happy to let them run ahead up front, together with another runner who was doing only today's marathon.
I ran the first half with Ruthann and Denis, which made the time pass quickly and for a while I almost managed to forget my tired legs. There was a lot of cloud cover, which made the temperatures much more agreeable. Right at the end of loop one all of a sudden Stu appeared right in front of me (there had been a long straight stretch a mile earlier and there had been no sign of him) and he stopped for a second at the start/finish area, which is where I passed him. Denis fell back a little and right at the 15 mile spot it started raining a little bit, which was highly welcome.
Ruthann set the pace and I managed to keep up reasonably comfortably until she saw the second placed runner ahead of us at around mile 19. She obviously started smelling blood and her shark fin came out and she dropped the pace considerably in pursuit. I hung on for maybe a quarter mile when I remembered that I still had 7 marathons to run and let her go. Right then the sun came out and in no time at all I was suffering badly. I was completely parched and at one point even picked up a discarded half-full bottle of water and drank it without hesitation. I would have done the same again had there been more!
I really felt like melting in the sun until I picked up a Lucozade bottle at mile 22, which in no time at all greatly improved the situation, and just in time. There is a real bitch of a drag from mile 23 almost all the way to mile 25 (as well as from 10-12, but it doesn't feel anywhere near as bad at that point), and it's getting longer, steeper and tougher every day. Boy was I glad to see the top!
My pace had held up surprisingly well and I finished in 3:32:03 (give or take a second) in fourth place, second 10in10 runner. Rik is now without a shadow of a doubt the favourite to win, the only thing that could stop him is an injury. Stu had a really tough day, he really suffered for racing Rik and paid the price, which more than vindicates my decision to take it considerably easier today.
The car's thermometer displayed 25C when we left (and it was already cooler at that point), and tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter. Any chance you could do a rain dance tonight?
- 6 Jul
- Sixmilebridge 10in10 marathon #3
3:32:03, 8:05 pace, fourth place (second 10in10 runner)