After successfully getting round the New Forest course 2 weeks before, it was onto the Goodwood Motor Circuit for some flat tarmac. I was hoping to shave some minutes off the New Forest time as I was hopefully getting some fitness back. In the 2 weeks since Marathon #7, I had done a range of quicker runs, and had done an 18 mile run on the weekend in between.
So race day came, and it was a day trip to Chichester to the Goodwood Motor Circuit to take on the ‘Running Grand Prix’. So an early ferry off the Island with 2 running buddies to keep me company. Time was tight, we arrived at the venue at 8:15 with the race starting at 9am. We were mostly ready, so it was a case of sticking the numbers and tags on, last minute snacks, drinks, lubrication and on to the start.
My view of this event is that it was very well put together and well organised. It would be good if more information about the course and race day were published on the website, then I would not have to ask them so many questions!
The marathon started first, then each other race 20 mile, Half, 10k, 5k all kicked off 15 mins apart and those runners were fed onto the course. It meant that for the bulk of my run, there was a steady stream of people around the course, all chasing their own goals over different distances, it wasn’t busy though.
Mid run, the expected band of weather came through, and it absolutely poured down! I don’t mind the rain during runs, certainly preferable to baking sunshine, but conditions did get tricky for a while, with a lot of standing water on the track to splash through.
I had decided today that I thought I could go close to 4 hours, but probably was not fit enough for another sub 4, but decided to give myself a chance. So I set off at around 8:30s, and maintained that as an average for around the first 8 miles. I was then doing most miles at just over 9 minute miles, so was maintaining a pace that would get me just under the 4 hours. Sadly, that was when the wheels fell off!
From 20 miles onwards I was really suffering in my legs and hips and just felt like I didn’t want to run anymore. So from that point on, I slowed down and just plodded round. The 4 hours was out of sight and it was only now about collecting the medal. Miles 22 to 26 were all in the 10 to 11 minute range, but eventually the last lap ticked away and I was there in 4:12:30. A few minutes slower than I’d hoped, but I paid the price for some early over ambition!
8 down, 4 to go. Next stop the Isle of Wight Marathon on 6th October, my home marathon. Not a quick one, but will be nice to see lots of familiar faces 🙂