• Barry Gerhold

#34 Ghost of Coyote Marathon

Event hosted by SVN: http://www.saxon-shore.com

Location: Gravesend Cyclopark

This event was set up due to the success of the 2016 Kent Coyote Run where they had a one off medal which was brilliant, and SVN managed to secure the left over stock (today's prize)

Not sure what to write about this one, it’s all a bit of a blur really, but here goes...

Running a marathon, 5 days after the previous one, is never going to be easy, but I hoped I could go out with a similar mindset to the one I had the other day. Again, the plan was to take a relaxed pace for the majority of the event and let the heart rate climb in the second half as fatigue sets in.

Ashley, Nat’s brother, was also here today. Recovering from injury, his plan was to take things pretty easy, so as not to aggravate things in the hopes of getting through it pain free.

This course is a little lumpier than the marathon that I did on Saturday, but the positives of that are more downhill sections J From the start I could feel the fatigue in my legs and I feared that this would impede my running , but I cracked on with it anyway. The course was 7 laps of a 3.74 mile out and back route; mostly up on the way out (130ft) and downhill on the way back.

On the first lap, I decided that my strategy would be to take things very easy on the way out and push it a bit harder on the way back. For the first two laps, I enjoyed this, hitting a few sub 7:45 min/miles in the process, which when not going for a PB is pretty good. However, pushing these downhills soon started to hurt. My heart rate was low, but it felt like it was high, so fatigue was starting to limit me here.

At the turnaround point on lap one, I could see Ashley as I passed him in the opposite direction. He seemed relaxed and it was obvious that he was taking things easy, but at the same point on the next few laps, he was creeping nearer and nearer to me. I could sense his competitiveness getting the better of him, the cheeky bugger! I was starting to fear he may catch me.

Jon (Drake) was here again today, running well in the front few, as too was Craig (Lovelock). Craig, now approaching the end of his 136 marathons in a year challenge, was surely fatigued and as the laps went by, I was gradually catching him. Once I did catch him, he explained that he was running with his buddy today and finding things really easy...!? Great. This was not what I wanted to hear. By the feel of my legs I certainly wasn’t finding it easy.

I overtook Craig and his mate on the final aid station with 3.74 miles to go and set off on the final lap. I hadn’t needed to walk yet and it seemed that my legs were performing better than they had on Saturday. I knew all I had to do was get the uphills out the way and then I could try and enjoy the final bit, surely not having to walk. I made it safely to the turnaround point and then concentrated on trying to keep a steady pace.

With a mile to go, like a speeding bullet, Craig came flying past! There was no way I was going to be able to manage the pace that he was now pushing. Seems he had decided to leave his mate and finish strong and that is what he did. I continued to plod along and managed to finish in 3hrs 40mins, which is somehow 17 minutes quicker than the other day. My heart rate average was also identical to the other day, so I am not quite sure how I managed to achieve this? My guess would be that due to the ups and downs today, I was using different muscles in my legs and the effort was shared out between them, thus delaying fatigue. Saturday’s event was mainly flat and the same muscle group would have been used throughout, speeding up the fatigue... but who knows?

Jon managed another fantastic effort finishing in 3:36:18. Craig got the job done in 3:39:34. You’d be pleased to hear that Ashley also managed to finish injury and pain free and fortunately did not catch me J

Thanks to my wonderful and funny little woman, Natalie, who despite being a busy gal, always has time to edit my reports... eventually xxx

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