Firstly I would like to congratulate my wife on winning the Women’s Wellington Marathon, a spectacular effort.
My aim for the race was a PB, my previous road marathon best time was 3:26 in Auckland a couple of years ago, I was confident I could beat this due to the ultra marathon training providing me with much needed stamina and strength. I was a little worried about my pace training but had been doing 10km training races in under 40 minutes.
Preparation for the marathon was good, it is always slightly difficult preparing beforehand at my parents house, particularly due to my pre race nutrition not being as stringent as it could be. In saying that there were no pre race hiccoughs. The taper week was good hitting about 30km in the last 7 days. Before that my longest run in preparation was a 68km road run about 5 weeks out from the race.
It was a typical Wellington day, cold windy and wet. The course is not well thought out, it is an out and back course with an additional out and back in the middle which is bloody annoying, for a capital city marathon I personally think more can be done to set out an established circuit course. If Auckland can, Wellington should be able to, and if they did I think a lot more people would run it. The other problem is congestion due to participants running a variety of different distances – when you are heading home and 10km and 21km runners are speeding passed it can be quite disheartening. The pre race goody bag is average however I do love the end race towel. If they don’t change the course layout i wont be rushing back.
I started out strong and went out relatively fast (I really find it hard to reign it in at the start) running 4 min km’s for the first ten km and was placed about 9th for the first 25km. I had a GU gel at the start line and had two more waiting for me along the course courtesy of my awesome support crew (bro/ma). My split was good 1:24 and I felt pretty strong at the half way mark. I was having a cup of water/powerade at the regular aid stations. At the 30km mark I pulled into 8th. I felt the legs tire at 32km and really had to dig in deep from this point on, the last 5km were going to be with the wind but all the work into the wind was taking its toll and I hit the wall, at this point the top half marathon runners came speeding passed which did not help my psyche. My aim changed from a top ten placing to a sub 3 hour marathon at the 37km mark. The last few km’s proved to be tough mentally and physically and the whole time I was calculating my pace with my trusty GPS watch to ensure a sub 3 hour.
I was ecstatic with my time and placing of 15th overall, I have only run 2 road marathons previous to this, my first 3:46, second 3:26 and now my third 2:58. I am not sure when my next marathon will be due to the Tarawera 100km coming up fast, but It will be darn tough to beat that PB.
Post race – Las Vegas brilliant place to celebrate.
My preferred distance is still the ultra (I define that as anything over a marathon), I think the internal and external mind games are much more interesting and the physical pain much much more gruelling.
I ran in new balance minimus shoes.
Tip – If you can afford it buy a GPS watch that can tell you your pacing. Whilst training you learn to feel what certain paces do to you heart rate etc. During a race you can run at an average pace to reach your certain goal and prevents going out to fast- much like running with a pacer (no pacers for wgtn marathon). Do not run with your GPS religiously it can take the fun out of just running.