• Barry Gerhold

The Remembrance Day Marathon

Marathon/Ultra number 35 of the year

This one I went into with a very different plan than normal. I hate doing track type interval sessions in training and I love doing long runs, so I thought I’d attempt to mix the two. Putting several harder efforts into a relatively relaxed marathon.

This course was a wet and muddy one. A type of course that I enjoy, but one that would most likely drain my legs due to all the puddle dodging. The event would consist of 4 x 10.5km out and back laps.

On lap one I ran nice and easy, somewhere between 9 and 9.30 minute mile and once I was back at the start/finish line, and obviously after eating some cake I headed back out to start my first hard session. I had no real plans for pace during this. I just wanted to see what I could maintain. This interval would be 3km and I managed to hold just under 8min/mile and this felt quite comfortable. A 4.5km recovery section and a final 3km effort would complete lap 2.

Lap 3 and 4 I decided to adjust this slightly as I didn’t want to end up being half way through a hard effort and come into an aid station as cake would therefore become priority. So I would do 2 x 2km efforts and 2 x 3.25km recoveries per lap and this worked well. All my hard efforts over the event averaged 7.45 /mile

At 11am the pre-planned air horns sounded along the course which directed us to stop where we were and observe the 2 minute silence. This was quite a wonderful thing. Everyone stood there looking out over the Thames thinking about those that we have lost and those that have fought for our country. After 2mins the air horns sounded again and we continued where we left off. I was half way through a hard effort, so took some concentration to get back in the zone.

Approaching the final 2km and my final hard effort I was catching a chap wearing a RAF police shirt and quite strangely at precisely the moment I needed to up the pace, he did to. It was a struggle to maintain the pace required during that final effort. My legs were toast, but having him there helped me concentrate and I saw it through and finished in 3hrs 46mins

Another well organised event by www.phoenixrunning.co.uk and Rik Vercoe, Thank you so very much and also thank you to everyone out there helping out today.

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