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Leicester Marathon
Sunday 14th October 2012
Christof Schwiening

It was a nice bright clear day - the first frost of the year. I arrived early, no trouble parking, and feeling slightly tired from the previous days activities (hedge cutting on a field). There were plenty of portaloos and a good collection of 'fast food' outlets. I was wearing a bright fluorescent cycling top (long sleeve) with pockets at the back to hold my fruit jellies. The top did attract quite a bit of attention, but it failed in all other regards. The start was orderly, and rather like a small version of London with the first few km along wide roads. I had gone into the race with little training and no expectations - two mistakes! The first 5km was mostly downhill on tarmac and I just ran without paying much attention to pace. The result was that at the end of 7km I was on track for a 3:05 time. This was silly since I had just enough training to get 3:30. At about 10 miles I took out my jellies and ate one and the rest fell on the floor....I should have stopped at that point. By about 12 miles I had bonked. It was a simple combination of having lost too much weight in the past month (4kg), having done too much exercise the previous day, setting off to hard and losing my fuel. Not only had I slowed to a pace that my 77 year old mother could have beat, but I was also far too hot - it had turned into a warm day. The rest of the marathon was terrible - a totally new experience. I stopped at the drink stations and loaded with as much sugary rubbish as was available - I walked...and I got overtaken by about 120 runners (mostly in club vests) - in the final 14 miles I only past one person, and she was having an even worse race and was being taken care of by St John's. Anyway with a combination of walking, stopping and death-shuffle I finished. It was a nice event - well organized and tolerated by the city. The route had a good mixture of urban and rural - shopping centre and water park. I will do it again next year - but, I will plan it better. It was a good learning experience - I am clearly not invincible and pulling off a fast marathon requires more than a little light training and turning-up!
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