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Lindsays Borders Marathon

02/03/2014

Sunday 2nd March saw the inaugural running of the Lindsays Borders Marathon at Kelso Racecourse. To complete the accurately measured distance, runners were required to do 23.5 laps of the gravel/mud inside track of the racecourse. This made the race not only a physical but a mentally challenging one, passing the start/finish every 1.1 miles. With a strong headwind for half of each of the laps it was a testing course for everyone. There was a combination of full distance runners and relay teams of 4 who were completing an average of 6.5 miles each as a team. Susan Gallagher reports as follows...

"As part of my London marathon training I was using this race as a test of fitness and stamina having not raced a marathon for over 2.5 years.The field of runners was fairly high quality so my target was to finish and then not be last. I was hoping for as close to 4 hours as possible.

After being piped to the start, just after 9am the small field of racers started. I set off at sub 4 hour pace but after about 5 laps I was not enjoying them despite the support every mile. Underfoot conditions gradually got worse as puddles were created in the mud and the compacted sand stretches became rutted and uneven. I passed half marathon distance in 1 hour 53 before lack of endurance started to show and mile pace slowly declined. Motivation was diminishing as the leaders were lapping me frequently and I began to stop for water more often than I would've in a non lap marathon, losing valuable minutes being stationary. Having a fairly strong headwind for the last half of every one of the 24  laps was very tiring. Once I had passed 17 miles I did feel more motivated with only 9 miles to go so began to dig in to complete the distance, running steadier and strong but just at a slower pace. From this point I focused on staying positive. Aside from the water stops I had no walk breaks even in the last few miles and actually began to enjoy it all finishing happy in 4 hours 15 minutes and 38 seconds. With another 6 weeks of training sub 4 at London is on!  The race was won by Hugh McInnes in 2.52.59 with first lady Jo Thom (Edinburgh) finishing in 3.05.04."

Susan

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