Gary Cochrane completed the Blackpool Marathon in 3:35.51:
26th April 2015, whilst the masses were getting excited about running the London Marathon, the more discerning runner was contemplating England’s historical connection with the sea by taking part in the Blackpool Marathon, yes a full 26.2 miles up and down Blackpools (in)famous prom. Starting outside the Hilton, heading down to South Shore, past the Pleasure Beach (really, can it still get away with that name in 2015?) round the bend and back up from South Shore to Bispham, running past all three piers, the tower and the odd hen/stag do stalwart. At Bispham it’s a left turn along the lower prom for a few miles on solid concrete (a bit tough on the feet) before an up ramp back down to South Shore and back again to end on the lower prom opposite the Hilton.
What can I say, 2015 was hot, windy and cold on the up leg, it is mostly flat with some undulation but the last 4 miles are dead flat along the lower prom, and there are even spectators at this stage.
It might not be for everyone but it is a low key low stress marathon that allows runners the chance to aim for a PB without the hassle that comes with big city marathons. 2015 was my fourth Blackpool Marathon and probably the best weather, 2014 was windy and raining, 2010 was blisteringly hot.
To illustrate the pb potential, in 2010 I completed Blackpool in 4:39:24 – and that was my ninth marathon. 2012 it was 3:55:05, 2014 was 3:45:07 and in 2015 (19th marathon) I achieved my pb of 3:36:54 – that’s an improvement of over 62 minutes across my adventures in Blackpool!
Position wise 85th out of 411, 22nd in M-V40 category (no idea how many in category as it has a woefully inadequate website and results capability)
So if you want a low key, no fuss and no free gels, spring marathon then I can highly recommend it, next year I aim to do it again and knock that figure down closer to 3hrs. But be warned – once you have done the Blackpool marathon you will be faced with a dilemma, you will have run hard and long – but still be in Blackpool!