Report from Garry Cochrane:
26.2miles of the flattest flat road you can find – south of Grimsby!
If you have never heard of Mablethorpe – not to be confused with the risqué photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, then it isn’t to say your life is incomplete just that there is a tiny bit of room for geographical enlightenment.
Head for Grimsby and turn right and you will eventually find yourself in this little east coast seaside town which is actually rather pleasant and has its own half and full marathon since 2012. After completing the Great Langdale Marathon on 12 September; a largely road marathon set in a massively hilly part of the Lake District, I came across this contrasting marathon after hearing it mentioned by that new running evangelist that is Chris Evans on Radio 2. I signed up and almost instantly experienced some buyer’s remorse.
The day before the marathon I was gripped with the need to view the course and stumbled over to the website where a rather lovely little video showed a lot of smiley people and some blue skies. But it was flat. Oh so flat.
Sunday morning was a 5am rise after 3 hours sleep, I’d like to say I was up because I was indulging in a night of debauchery but the truth is I couldn’t sleep and was just knackered. And as I pulled into Mablethorpe at 8.30am to a low mist and solid cloud cover it all felt a bit grim.
The 2 lap marathon began with minimal fanfare as around 200 hundred marathons mingled with the halfs for what felt like a fast first lap. I was joined by a centurion named xxx who was doing his 100th marathon, after having raised over £1.5million for various charities. It was his home town and a celebration for him so he trotted round as I was busting a gut. We chatted away about running for a good 10 miles before he stopped for an ice cream – 10 minutes later he shot past, said hello and was off to finish in about 3 hrs (results not up yet).
Me and Subhashis Basu (Bazz) on his 100th marathon in his home town
Picture courtesy of Mablethorpe Marathon fb page.
There is nothing memorable to say about the route which is only minimally coastal, the rest could be the vale of York but what was great were the marshals and the people out and about on the seafront and in cafes who were truly supportive especially when the sun came out towards the end.
I completed the course in 4:08 – this was a bit slower than my usual road marathon but in my defence, I knew myself I had not put in the long runs and it showed. This was my third road marathon this year and it felt the hardest, partly because of the unrelenting flatness, repetitive strides and poor pacing (too fast first half, no watch etc etc).
All in all it was a good day out with some lovely friendly people, nice bling, a good tech t-shirt and an interesting experience. Would I go back, hm, let’s see.
If you want to see some photos, a bit of video and more info then visit: http://www.mablethorpemarathon.org.uk/
PS – Great Langdale marathon was fantastic, hilly, beautiful, slow (4:22) and worth a day out for anyone, whether half or full (2 laps) and you can find out a bit more here: http://greatlangdaleroadraces.co.uk/marathon/.