Marathon #7.1 – New Forest Marathon

Post race at the New Forest

So after a frustrating couple of months where I didn’t complete the Space Race in July, and skipped the Two Tunnels Marathon in August both due to a knee injury, this week I managed to get back on track and complete the New Forest Marathon.

After missing August, my planned run for September was the Running Grand Prix at Goodwood on the 22nd. Originally that was supposed to be a quickish one, but I knew the first one back after the knee injury, with a significant drop in training mileage, was going to be tough.

The knee rehab had gone well, a period of gym only, followed but a few successful test runs meant that when a friend dropped out of the New Forest on the 8th, I was willing to give it a go, and if I could complete it I’d view it as training for the Goodwood run. I had completed a 17 mile run the weekend before with no knee pain, so was confident I could at least get round.

So, race day and off with some friends, one doing the marathon, one the half and three supporters. Conditions were good, but we did have pretty much solid sunshine, and towards the end of the marathon it did get pretty warm.

I had company out there today. I started running with Craig that I had met on my January marathon, he is running an amazing 50 marathons this year for WWF. We did the first couple of miles together, but he was a bit too quick for me, and I had to stop and adjust my knee support.

The knee support was an addition during training to give a little more security as Lateral Ligament damage makes the knee a bit less stable. I was also running in different shoes for this one. I’d switched from my normal Adidas Boston 7’s which are pretty lightweight, to Brooks Ghosts, which offer a bit more cushion to give the knee a bit less of a pounding.

I also had a good friend Simon out on the course today, running his first ever marathon. I saw him at the start and we wished each other well before setting off. I set off with Craig, so started quickly and then reigned it in to get to the halfway point at about 2:03.

I struggled a bit from halfway, the lack of training miles over the last 2 months taking it’s toll. In the last few miles, even though it felt hard, I seemed to be doing well against the field, reeling a few runners in again. I pushed on to the end and passed our gang of enthusiastic supporters on the finishing straight.

Job done, #7 this time officially ticked off in 4:22:33.

The New Forest Marathon is a good event that I’d recommend.

Good bits: There are a ranges of distances to choose from, 10k up to the marathon. There is a really nice area to chill out afterwards with a stage, live music, beer and food. The scenery is beautiful, through the forest, country roads, a couple of pretty villages and of course New Forest ponies! Event was well organised, toilets were plentiful.

Not so good bits: Gravel, quite a lot of the route is gravel paths, which for me personally is not my favourite surface to run on. I would prefer a different energy drink to be available, or to be able to supply my own to a water station. What was supplied I was not familiar with, and was in the same cups as water, hence I did hear about one chap who had poured it over his head to cool down! 🙂

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