11
Apr
11

The Brighton Marathon with Clif Bar

Saucony Clif Bar Pace Team at the Brighton Marathon

Thanks to Ian the chance came up to be the Clif Bar 3.10 pacer so we  headed to Brighton on the Friday night with a plan to do the Brighton parkrun on the Saturday morning.

I drove to the parkrun while Rach went for a bike ride (got lost). While waiting for the start I saw a runner warming up and it turned out to be @juliaarmstrong who had done a podcast with Rach and I a few months ago. That was great as she and Rach had a good race. I jogged round the park and chatted to Becky who remembered me from Bushy all that time ago. Afterwards we drank coffee and chatted with lots of people.

To the expo and the first meeting with Clif Bar and more importantly Darris and Star who were the people who had pulled this together. Felt instantly comfortable with them and Rach and I spent the next few hours talking to people about the race the following day.  Through the afternoon we then met Nick, David,George,Robin and Sharon. We already knew Ian and Sandra :¬)

The only thing that went wrong on the Saturday was the pasta party which sadly had poor food and no “entertainment”. At other events there have been Comperes,runners chatting and just general entertainment. That said the Clif Bar team spread out and chatted to people on the tables.

We then met up for gels/food and balloons. Interesting to the see how the “pros”  sorted their sticks and balloons while we arsed around. I will do a better job next time MAYBE. Some very entertaining stories from people as we attempted to break the ice. I went to bed that night knowing I had met a nice group of people who I was enjoying spending my time with.

Race Day

Continuing with the theme of being well treated the breakfast at the Hilton was excellent and having met everyone in the lobby we travelled to the start in a minibus with a few of the Elite runners. Once there we were shown the way to the VIP area where we mingled with the Elites and Ian Berry really did use the ladies toilet. :¬)

Race time

Entered the red area and got ready for the off. Instantly had quite a large group and I had to work hard to keep us slow during the first 5 miles. Marker came up in 36.03(correct pace is 00:36:15) so 12 second up. Saw David Rowe who looked easy at this point on his quest for 3.09 and picked up Andover man(1.52 800 but his first marathon)

The next 5 miles were the rolling section so I told the group what I would do, this involved me letting the pace drop on the climbs and then just letting go a little on the downs. At this point the group was so big we had trouble staying on the right side of the road as it was a little narrow. As we climbed the last hill to the turn point all was looking good with the only concern being the fact it was getting warmer. Miles 5 – 10 were 35.40 which was a little quick at around 7.08 pace. this was 71.43 at 10 miles (72.30 is exactly 3.10 pace. I had been instructed to hit half way in no more than plus 2 and no faster than -2 so all good at -47).

10 to 15 was where the race changed for so many people(half way was in here 1.34.XX) as with the wind behind and the downhill people went off the front and picked there pace up for those of us in the bus the miles were steady and covered in 36.14 – 1.47.57(correct pace 1.48.45 so we were a steady 48 seconds up).

The heat was getting to people as we passed 15miles and my group was down to about a dozen with me doing my best to keep them drinking and calm but cracks were showing. As we headed to the power station that group was 5 and we were now catching the people who had gone off the front of the group. At close to 20 I jumped into a toilet handing my balloons over and missed the split so after working back to “the balloon man” I took a 21 miles split 6 miles in 43.47 2.31.44(2.32.15 was the target) All pretty good with a toilet break but my group was now 3.

In the last 5 I was running as slowly as I could to keep the group together and trying to collect people up as we caught them. Saw Andover man whose legs had packed in and 6.52 man who looked like he had serious cramp. Rach ran the last 2 miles with me as well which was nice. I crossed the line in 3.09.52 with a couple of runners with me. A few people finished near me and thanked me for my efforts. There is a good picture of one of the guys we pushed to the line coming in getting his sub 3.10. The sad bit for me was the people who went 3.11- 3.18 who had been with me  for 15 to 20 miles but been beaten by the heat near the end.

We waited at the end to see Ian, Nick, George and Darris home and it was pretty distressing seeing the people being helped away in chairs or on stretchers. The heat claimed more victims than I have ever seen and that was pretty sad.

We showered and I ate Ice Cream before meeting with the team in the bar to chat about the day. When the dust settled it turned out everyone in the team had done their jobs.

 I have taken a while to write this blog and analysed the stats but I cannot see what I could have done differently. I don’t know what training people do and can’t know how they react to heat or if they have taken on water or Gels. All I can do is run the right pace and I feel I did that.

In closing I just want to say thank you to The Brighton Marathon, Saucony and Clif Bar for making sure we were well looked after.

Darris, Star, George, Sharon and Robin I hope to see you guys at another race soon. Look after yourselves. David, Nick, Sandra and Ian I know I will see you guys on the road.

What a great day

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3 Responses to “The Brighton Marathon with Clif Bar”


  1. 1 John66
    April 12, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Gobi,

    Huge respect to all pacers at all races. It’s a hell of a responsibility and getting it exactly right is very impressive. I’m looking forward to going with the 11 min mile pacer on Sunday to try and do London in sub 5.

    John

  2. 2 Russell Nimbus
    April 12, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Well done Gobi. Great race report and superb pacing! The weather forecast said it was 18/19 but it sure felt hotter on the course.

  3. July 10, 2013 at 1:04 am

    Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. But imagine if you added some great graphics
    or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this site could certainly be one of the most beneficial in its
    niche. Superb blog!


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