Afraid I’ve been getting pretty lazy when it comes to updating this blog, and I reckon this trend will continue. I suppose the most prominent event in past weeks was the Reykjavik Marathon, when I went to run the marathon and T the half – almost 3 weeks ago now. There was a plane-load of runners departing Edinburgh on the Thursday, with Harmeny Runners sending a small contingent up to do this, and a bunch of other runners whose affiliation was unclear. Temperature on arrival was about 10 degrees, almost half that of Edinburgh, so looking on the bright side this suggested a good running temperature. The mercury didn’t rise much at all over the weekend in Iceland (there’s a clue in the name…), and it was a bit bonkers to get home on the Monday night and step off the plane to experience temps of 20 degrees – that doesn’t happen much when landing into Edinburgh…..
Anyway, to the race. Not a huge crowd, about 800 runners, augmented by a bigger lot doing the half and associated races. We spotted someone sporting a Dunbar Running Club buff at the expo the previous day, and caught her on race day – a HBT!
Both routes were the same until about 11 miles, then the half runners peeled off, and the marathoners ploughed a lonely furrow for the remaining 15. Temp was great for running, with a steady smir of light rain, which eased off later in the race. Spectators and entertainment was pitched at just the right level – not too in yer face – steel drums, music and nicely timed intervals. A DJ blasting out the Stones ‘Start me up’ got me into a good head space about mile 17.
I fell into some good company. One lady was keeping good pace and we traded places up to about mile 22, where she moved off into the distance and finished a few minutes quicker than me. The route was basically around Reykjavik, with an extra little loop around the western edge of the peninsula. It was surprisingly pleasant with some rural views – a fair bit around the coast, with views of distant mountains – but with the predictability and speed provided by tarmac. A wee bit off-road (well, gravel paths), twisting through some nice parkland, and along the river.
Other than a little calf tightening ‘wobble’ at about mile 6, I felt good, really good actually, throughout the race. I put this down to better race nutrition (ie just jelly babies and water, and none of these fancy gels and drinks) and it really helped to keep things settled. I think the long course of antibiotics for the Lyme disease has helped get rid of all the bad bacteria, and a subsequent course of pro-biotics has put things back on an even keel – well, i’m convinced that’s the reason.
By about mile 18, I knew I had a chance of a ‘time’, and tried just to keep my nerve. I eked passed runners on a steady basis from about mile 20, and there was still fuel in the tank yet, and my last mile was almost my fastest split. Getting over the line in 3:13:55, I was ecstatic. The perfect race, and about 5 minutes off my PB, and a nice antidote to the Edinburgh Marathon experience in May.
Since then, mainly taking it easy, although we went over to Cumbrae on Sunday to do the 10 mile road race around the island. A small but fiercely competitive race – I think it was a west of Scotland championship (or something), and this drew in lots of talented runners from the West – Kilbarchan, Inverclyde, Maryhill etc. Unsurprisingly, not my best time, with still feeling the marathon in my legs, but good to get back out there. Theresa did a good run, not far outside her time when she ran this last year.