With 10 LBAC runners in the London Marathon 2016 we thought it best to have a quick report from a few different runners to get the overall and differing views from across the field. One thing we can all agree on though is the excellent performances across the board. From those new to running and the club, to PBs and Club records to those who pushed on despite the difficulties, injuries and everything the course threw at them.
And here is Chris George’s and Laura Brine’s take on it!
Chris George – 3:41:46
The story of the constant battle against niggling injuries.
Normally my marathon training starts in January off the back of a decent cross country season and putting in a couple of decent performances in half’s before Christmas, this marathon training started off the back of two month off with a calf problem (the first ever!) and no racing at all.
Maybe I should have either deferred or scaled back my expectations at this point, but I was determined after a solid 2:51 at MK marathon last year to finally go to London and have a good run.
Despite not being able to run for 10 days before the race I went into the race with the same plan of trying to break 2:50.
At 8 miles I had that all too familiar tightening of the calf, but made (probably the wrong) decision to push on and see how far into the race I could get. Through half way in 1:24 was pretty much bang on what I was aiming for pre-race, however I knew that it was only a matter of time and at 15 miles the calf finally went, nightmare…!!
What followed was not pleasant; I have never wanted a race to be over so bad. However I managed to not walk bird cage walk and finished which I suppose I should be please with.
Laura Brine – 3:13:37
So, this was my 4th consecutive London and my 9th marathon to date. I was kinda looking forward to it. Kinda.
It was hard, during training, not to compare to where I was last year and feel less fit or ready.
Despite achieving PBs in training in 10k, 10miles and a sub 90 half I still felt panicky and was worrying about “pulling a New York!” This was where I crashed horribly at around mile 21 in November and tried to claw on for 5miles (for dear life) to at least finish. I then became ill for a couple of days and I didn’t enjoy the marathon like I should’ve.
This was the first time (in 8 marathons) that this had happened. I didn’t expect it at all and now that’s all I could think about happening in London. I needed to shake this off and put New York to bed so spent the entire week thinking positive thoughts!
All I wanted to do was to get near to where I was last year – 3:15 – and get a decent BQ for next year, plus another shot at the club record.
I hadn’t really set in my head what pace I wanted to run at. Last year was 7:26 average so I wanted to try and sit a little under this. I worried 7:20 would be too fast as I’m aware how much a few seconds under your goal pace can mess you up at the end so thought 7:22/7:23.
The morning came with Coach trips, Stodgy cold porridge, freezing cold temperatures and nervous toilet stops which all passed achingly slowly. Then suddenly I’m on the start line. And we’re off. The first 3 miles of London are downhill so it’s pretty tough to find your rhythm. I went out pretty quick and clocked a 22min 5k. Then by Mile 4 or 5 it started to feel a bit tough. I was then panicking that I’d messed it up. I wasn’t even a 5th of the way through and was resigning myself to the “it’s just not your day” excuse (not really helped by dude cooking bacon!! You sir are an evil genius.)
All of a sudden I hear some lunatic screaming “go on, Laura Brine” and I look and it’s Amy! I then see some others from the club and it gave me the boost I so needed. Thanks a lot for that. Really helped. Saw Richard a short distance later too!
Then came Cutty Sark and quickly Tower bridge (which I had never noticed how beautiful or emotional it was before!) and saw some other friends at the halfway mark, which again really helped.
I passed the halfway mark, telling myself “ok, Brine, the race starts now”
I actually felt good. I ran through Shadwell, which is where I had ran on some of my training runs, so this flew by and I had picked up the pace a bit.
Before I knew it I was at mile 18.
Cue more shoutouts from team Purple and Gold. (Again, much needed. Thumbs up!)
Then the bit I was dreading, Mile 21. I felt OK. Tried not to over think it and focused on seeing my friends at miles 22 and miles 23. I didn’t see them though and could now feel myself starting to get a bit downhearted. I’d naturally slowed looking for them at mile 23 so I was a bit annoyed and knew I didn’t have it to claw back.
Now it was “just a park run to go” and I didn’t want to lose any pace for the last few miles.
I plotted the landmarks to break it up. The Lucozade stop, the tunnel, Big Ben and the corner to the finish line.
I started ticking them off. Legs ploughing but mind feeling a bit cloudy by now.
Hitting the 800m mark I resisted the urge to sprint finish. Fell for that one before where I started digging in before realising this is actually just under a KM. idiot!
I saw Tom on the last corner and he shouted my name and gave me the last boost to finish.
And then I’d done it. I’d finished! I actually crossed the line smiling, looking down as usual, but smiling!
And with a PB to boot. 3:13:37. Earning me a championship place next year, a wave 1 Boston Qualifier and the club record.
Looking back I didn’t love it as much as I had the year before, but think that was a combo of my demons from 2015 and having Dame Kelly beat me by 2 mins *fist shake*
Still, I was happy as it gave me my confidence back from New York and means I can tackle the next one stronger and faster. Bring on Boston 2017!
Laura Brine – one (or 4) in a million