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Blackpool Marathon

24/04/2018

Franc Karpo ran the Blackpool Marathon on Sunday 22nd April 2018. His race report follows:

I set out with a goal of running 3:15. Being a mostly flat double loop course with only a few gradual inclines, it’s a good course to run a time if the weather is fine, and it was, 10-11 degrees,  except for the wind, at times was nasty.

However, I won’t complain about the wind too much because everyone running London the same day had to deal with up to 22-25 degree heat and in the sun, so they had it much worse.

My goal pace was 7:25. I went out fine. It rained for the first 9 miles then stopped. In fact, I felt sooooo good, that I had to resist the temptation to go a bit faster, but myself in check. I was spot on pace until mile 11. That is when the course turns directly into the wind by the sea. From 11-13, I had to deal with 20mph winds. Pace went up to 7:37ish.

The bad news was at mile 12, suddenly both hamstrings cramped/tightened up. I was hoping I could work through it, but it just got worse. I am still into the wind at this point, (but not quite as bad as we were off the sea a bit), until mile 17. It felt like someone superglued my hamstrings with rope and was pulling on them, running 7:50 pace.

At this point, turning back with a tailwind, I thought even with the hammy problems, I might be able to get back on pace.  Even though my energy level was excellent, I couldn’t go any faster. A couple of times I tried picking up the pace as sometimes when you are feeling bad, this can snap you out of a funk, but this just hurt even more.

By mile 19 or so, I thought was… am I going to be able to finish? 

Hamstrings did gradually get worse, but I was focused on finishing. After not making it to the starting line the last 2 marathons I signed up for, (Edinburgh), I HAD to do this.

I knew the wind the last 2.2 miles to the finish, (the same miles as 11-13ish) was going to be tough. What I didn’t expect was the wind was now blasting 30-35mph! These miles destroyed me, (9:40 pace) as I struggled to complete the race.

My time was 3:24:05, 65th place and 1st in 60-64 age division.

Before the race, if someone told me I would run 9 minutes slower than my goal time, I would have felt very disappointed. But, with what I was dealing with, I am pleased to get the finish line and finally get a marathon again in my resume.

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