Race Report by John Bennett
I was a little apprehensive about the likely outcome for my fourth marathon as my training in the weeks before the Brighton Marathon was disrupted by having Iritis in my right eye; for example, I missed the Ashby 20. I really wasn’t sure how well I was going to do but was I was aiming for around 4:10 given my PB is 4:18. The other slight worry was an email from the organisers in the few days before the event warning about the likely warm weather that was forecast for the day…
I travelled down early on the Saturday morning to Brighton to collect my number and that went fine as we were there early. However, I know other Massey runners had big queues late in the afternoon. We stayed in an Airbnb near the start which was handy; I only had a 10 minute walk down hill to the start. On the Sunday it was quite warm as forecast and so I took a cap and put on plenty of sunscreen. The start was a bit manic as you’d expect and also I didn’t use the bag drop as my wife and our youngest son were meeting me at the finish which made it a bit easier.
The course was relatively flat and I did the first half in 2:08 so things were generally going well but it was very hot and sunny. The water stations had plenty of water when I went through but the paper cups weren’t ideal. I’d take a bottle which I re-filled following a warning from Dave Goodwin (thanks for that!). However, there were reports of water running out later on. I got to the 30km mark in 3:11 but by then I was struggling, I felt a bit dizzy and a bit sick and really felt like dropping out. It felt like that if carried on pushing myself at the same pace I’d be passing out shortly and so backed off. At 33km, me and another chap stopped for just under 4 minutes to keep an eye on someone who was in a really bad way with heat stroke until his mate came back from alerting the first aiders. It was really quite hot and there were quite a lot of runners collapsed with the first aiders being kept very busy. In the end the final 12.2 km was very slow and finished in 4:53. Despite my poor performance, I would go back and it do this race again as the course was nice and the organisation I found to be generally good. Also, there several other Massey runners taking part and it was great to hear the occasional ‘GO ON MASSEYS’ around the course as there were several loops so you could see people both in front and behind of you.
I’ve not booked the next marathon yet but I’m expecting there to be at least one more in 2017!