A right Battle in Sussex, 3/4/11

Ed: Maria Hamilton reports on the Sussex Marathon flanked by Anna Finn & Cherryl Sinclair:

  • Organisation : fine, picked up number & chip the day before, start a bit late, but no complaints from me as I was in the loo at the time!
  • Marshalls: fearlessly getting us through the traffic, well done guys
  • Feed/drinks tables: water, sports drink, coke, bananas, mars bars (sadly not vegan), sweeties (Haribo? Nuff said!), reasonably frequent: also, at one point there were some portaloos on course (unusual for such a small marathon)
  • swag: great: nice hessian bag for the goodie bag, tech tshirt, lovely medal, SIS gel & drink powder (both vegan)
  • course: really beautiful, Sussex in spring + historic Battle… but hilly… harder than Cotswolds, I thought…PB material? Not.A.Chance….
    We went round Battle and then there was an out-and-back stretch which you did twice. Bizarrely I seem to like this sort of thing, it can only be a matter of time before I end up doing track marathons… You do get to see pretty much everyone this way which is v. sociable.
  • support: pretty good for a small country race which started before 9am … and I have to say, none of the traditional zombie-supporter you get where they stand slackjawed at the side of the road waiting for “their” runner and ignoring the other thousand or so, everyone got clapped

Anna was guiding a fellow 100-club runner, Paul, who (running with an old acquaintance of Peter S’s) I’d overtaken 2 weeks before @ Cotswolds. I overtook him and Anna this time – I think he might go out too fast! – but a spell in the aforementioned portaloos meant they (and Cheryl, who I met en route) were both ahead of me at the finish.

While it was a lovely race (and I spent most of it chatting to a fellow runner training for Comrades and having a grand old time) it wasn’t a sterling performance even for a training run. Not only was I suffering from “tummy problems” (three pit stops) but also… possibly… hot flushes…very peculiar feeling. Rather flagged at the end and the run/walk that I’d been practicing with my Comrades friend became more of a walk/jog and I finished in 4:53 or so.
There were a lot of Comrades runners (past or hopefuls) at the race and one eventually said that yes, the second half of the Up Run wasn’t much worse than Sussex,. “…but your legs are ****ed” which I suppose is a fair point.
  • go back to carrying my own sports drink (I can see why Anna does now)
  • no curry the night before, however lightly spiced, stick to a very bland stirfry
  • immodium instants are rubbish, go back to generic loperamide if poss.
  • go slower at the start (yes even slower) and walk up the hills more earlier

But the upside was, I thought I could have done it again after I’d finished… didn’t really want to but felt I could have… so feeling confident I do have a chance of at least finishing the big C.

A lovely race and recommended to anyone not after a fast time!