We had a bunch of runners from the local running club with us, most of them reasonably experienced marathon runners. Apparently most of them made it to mile 4 until they decided that running a marathon in that heat was just insane and went home. General consensus is that they were right, of course.
The rest of us soldiered on, we have come way too far to pull out now, it will take a major injury to put any of the surviving 19 10in10 runners out of the game.
I started with my by now customary slow first mile until the legs felt a bit looser and then fell into a nice stride, following one of today's individual entrants. For a while he seemed to think I was racing him and put in a surge every time I got close, but in actual fact I was using him as a pace setter. As I mentioned before I tend to run a lot faster when there is someone around me. After a few miles he stopped racing and we started chatting, he was only doing the first loop in preparation of a half-ironman he is doing on Saturday. Having a pace maker for half a marathon is better than none at all and we finished the loop in good time, a couple of minutes ahead of yesterday.
I headed back out on my own but still feeling good. After yesterday's lesson I declined any sugary stuff from the sidelines and just had water and some salt tablets for the entire marathon. I think I am running these at my fat burning effort, so additional carbohydrates aren't really required, but I increased my salt table intake and they do make a difference in the heat.
I think I'm starting to get heat acclimatised, I do not sweat as much and my sweat isn't as salty. That's a good thing, because the conditions are getting ridiculous. The top of the tarmac started melting, especially on the main road, and the shoes felt like sticking to the surface with each step and made a strange peeling sound every time you lifted them off the road. I felt this cost extra energy, which might have been purely psychological, but it had a major effect on Jerry Forde, our wheelchair athlete, who had to work much harder than usual.
Rather surprisingly I caught up to Stu at mile 16, though he pulled away again. We drew level again at a couple of rest stops where he tended to spend a little bit more time than me, and at mile 22 I went ahead again. The last 2 days I always started working well on those last few miles, the heat wasn't quite as oppressive any more at that point and I can smell the finish, so I always end with a set of decent final miles. It was also a little bit of competition between me and Stu, though a minute up or down is unlikely to have any effect on the final outcome. I thought I could hear him behind me on a few occasions on the final climb and always responded with some extra effort, and by the end I had about a minute on him, all in friendly competition, of course. My time was 3:44:58 (my own time, not official), again a couple of minutes faster than the day before.
The temperatures topped 31.5C/89F today; not only is this the hottest week in God knows how long, we are also running our marathons in the hottest part of Ireland (usually that's an oxymoron, not today though), but we are coping and it won't stop any of us. I have full respect for any of the 10in10 runners, I know exactly what everyone is going through, and I do wonder if the lady who is walking/shuffling her way through 7 hours of marathon day in day out is the hardest worker of all.
I do have a few aches and pains and my achilles, which has behaved very well so far, did pipe up a few times today, which is a bit worrying. I seem to need something to worry about every day.
One guy ran his 100th marathon today and one lady finished her 50th, so we did have some case for premature celebrations.
Less than 100 miles to go. Easy.
- 10 Jul
- Sixmilebridge 10in10 Marathon #7
3:44:58, second place