On the 13th December 2020 I took part in the rearranged Iron Ran Marathon. I am glad that the lockdown rules allowed this event to go ahead. It is most probably my final event of 2020, and certainly the last in my diary right now. 2020 has not gone to plan, in fact I had blogged last year about my Marathon plans for this year HERE, and it went from the best planned year ever, to the worst. But I am glad I have still managed to run 7 Marathons this year.
Iron Ran Marathon was held at Denbies vineyard and forms part of the Phoenix Avengers Assemble series. This was my 7th marathon of the year, 60th official marathon, and 69th event towards the 100 marathon club.
It’s December in the UK, and the route at Denbies takes us through the vineyard. It is very hilly, and the route was a boggy mess. I don’t own trail trainers, but if I did I would have worn them, definitely trails would be better. I ran cautiously in road trainers otherwise I would have spent most of the time in my arse.
This was actually a lapped times event, so you have the option of a range of distances, for me it is always 8 laps for the marathon. The lap starts on grass, with a steep incline. We wind around and it keeps climbing for the first half. It is followed by a steep decline on firm trail which is a great section to make up some time. The rest of the lap is undulating but on very muddy grass so the longer I got through the event, the harder this section was to keep pace.
I spent the first 3 laps maintaining a sub 4 marathon pace. Although I am much slower for the first mile I made it up on the rest of the lap. I slowed on the 4th, and after that the hills got to my legs. It wasn’t so much the hill, but the sliding. I was being so careful not to twist anything and this meant going slower and slower. Whenever I could just run I was able to #pickupthepace but this got harder as the course got more slippery.
I enjoyed running my marathon. I spent the entire time running alone. Because of the waved start I didn’t have anyone running with me, although I ran past people as we went along, so exchanged a few brief words. It was nice being able to just lose myself in my thoughts, but I do miss running with people.
Today I finished my marathon in 4:26:44, with a smile on my face. My family came to meet me at the finish, and we took advantage of being at Denbies Vineyard.
Do you have any races left for 2020? Let me know what you have planned. Let’s hope 2021 is better.