In 2016 I ran my first ever event with Phoenix running, with Ghostbusters.
A year to the day I returned for my 9th marathon with them. These events take the same format; just over 3 mile laps, 6 hours to do as many as you want, 8 laps is an official marathon. I always complete the marathon distance and this was my 27th marathon, 31st for 100 marathon club. A few of my highlights, of these 31 I have:
9 marathons with Phoenix running;
5 international marathons;
6 marathons as an official pacer.
The night before I put out a poll on #ukrunchat to see what colour CEP socks or calf guards I would wear. The winner was Lime.
The out and back lap is mostly flat, apart from a small bridge. Each lap you collect a wrist band, and there is a tuck shop full of sweets, which I am happy to tuck into each lap. I don’t prepare or approach this event as I would a normal marathon. Instead I treat it like a training run, and just enjoy running with a few others, eating sweets and getting a great medal as a reward.
Usually with a field of approximately 100 you get to know the people you are running with, and it’s not often you run with the Marshmallow man. Probably about half the field usually do the marathon distance, with a few going on longer for the 6 hours. The other half do a variety of distances and it’s such a friendly atmosphere.
I was cautious coming into this event. Usually I would aim for around 3:30, but my target was to just drop under 4 hours. This was a midweek event, and I was mindful that I would be pacing the 1:40 #funbus at St Albans just 3 days later.
A marathon distance should never be underestimated, no matter how many times you have done it, nor how fast (relative to your potential) you complete it. Around 16-20 miles it was feeling tough, I took it easy at each tuck stop, taking on water and walking whilst I ate some sweets. My natural pace slowed and I didn’t try to push it.
I enjoyed running with a few regulars for a few laps, but they soon pulled away. As I got towards the end of lap 7 I started to work out my times and realised I needed to pickupthepace a little in order to come in sub 4. So I pushed on a little harder for the last 3 miles and came in comfortably at 3:57:27.
It feels good to have a midweek run occasionally and it helps to build up my points for Fitness Rewards. Next stop St Albans, hope to see many on the #funbus