My last event of the year was the Phoenix End of Year Marathon, an event which I have taken part in a number of times previously. The format is a 4 lap out and back route which breaks the event down very nicely with the first lap to get settled in, the second lap hopefully still fairly fresh, a third lap to just get done leaving the final lap.
I met up with Matt Dunn (and Sally) once again as we had planned another run and pub lunch after but I ended up running most of the race with Gemma C and had a good old natter and catch up for about 2/3 of the race. Time absolutely flew by as we were chatting and we were running around a 7.35 – 7.45m/m pace for the first 10 miles before slowing slightly to 8m/m for the next 7 or 8 miles.
The weather was perfect for running being bright and cool with mild temperatures for this time of the year although there was a slight wind towards the end of the race. With about a lap and a half to go, we separated and I ran the remainder of the race by myself. I was feeling ok and had a bit of running left in me and picked up the pace passing a couple of people on the last lap.
The last 8 miles were like a progression run starting with a 7.30 m/m and finishing with a 6.45 m/m which was pretty good. I ended up finishing in 3.19 so the race went a bit like the Enigma one a couple of weeks ago with a steady start and strong finish (again relative to my own pace).
I ended up 5/95 finishers. A quick shout out to Stephen Cousins who game me a bit of a shout out at the start of the race. Stephen likes to film his runs and many of these can be viewed on You Tube here so the Phoenix Marathon may be making an appearance here in the near future.
After the event, I had a quick check of my marathon stats. To be honest, I only tend to run Marathon events as training runs for ultras and despite having run 40-50 ultras, this was only my 24th marathon but my 10th in 2015 so I am running a greater frequency of these. Part of the reason is they make a great training run (the smaller events in particular are very sociable and friendly with a touch of competition being an ‘event’) with more of an effort being made compared to a typical Sunday morning plod.
My Marathon ‘career’ to date. A couple of shockers at the start!
There are quite a few smaller type marathon events with a loyal following and I would definitely recommend people check out events from people like Rik, Traviss and Foxy (and others I haven’t run yet).
Thanks to Matt Dunn for the photos.