Pre-race report: Colworth Marathon Challenge 2015

Dennis Kimetto ran a marathon in 2:02:57

Paula Radcliffe ran one in 2:15:25

Sweary knuckle-faced chef Gordon Ramsey ran one in 3:30:37

This weekend I’m aiming to run a marathon in 41:35:00

This race has seemed ridiculously far off in the distant future ever since I booked it, and now (predictably) it’s crept right up on me all of a sudden, and is less than 24 hours away.

(Thank god I’ve still got months and months to prepare for Thunder Run)

Anyway, Colworth. I blogged about this race a little while back, but here’s the potted version:

5 miles on Friday night, 8.1 miles (cross-country) on Saturday lunchtime, and then a half marathon on Sunday morning. Total = 26.2 miles. There’s camping and all sorts of festival shenanigans too, but I live just down the road so I won’t be partaking.

Have I trained for this event? Nope.

Have I got my kit ready? Nope.

Have I at least got clean shorts? Probably not.

Will I leave it until late Friday afternoon before frantically turning the house upside down in a last-minute hunt for my race number? Oh yes, most definitely.

I’ve been wanting to do the Colworth weekend for a few years now, but just never seemed to get round to it. I’m excited to finally be doing it, but a little nervous at the same time. Despite being around for a few years, it doesn’t seem to be a particularly well-known event in the online community (when I went onto twitter and asked who else had entered,  I was met with the sort of blank silence you’d get if you tried explaining pyramid schemes to an alpaca). This either means that the Colworth Marathon Challenge is a hipster fringe event and one of the best-kept secrets of the running community, or else it’s not a real race at all and is in fact just a clever ploy to lure me to deepest rural Bedfordshire so they can stick me in a wicker man.

I don’t really mind if it’s the latter, as long as I get a nice medal.

I don’t usually bother with race strategies or any of that grown-up stuff (unless “try not to get eaten by bears” counts as a race strategy), but as this is a bit of an unusual event I’ve given it at least half a thought. The problem with it being spread over three races of increasing distance means that I shouldn’t really go flat-out on the five miler, as it’ll almost certainly result in my legs catching fire later on in the weekend. Obviously, “shouldn’t” doesn’t mean that I won’t do it on the day, and my abject stupidity won’t come as any surprise to those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while. But for what it’s worth, my plan is to give it a bit of welly on the five miler (without overdoing it), then really ease back on the cross country 8-miler, treating it as a happy little jog. Finally, I’ll throw whatever I’ve got left into the half marathon.

Just to give everyone something to laugh at when I fail miserably, these are the times I’ll be aiming for1

5 miles 0:42:00

8.1 miles 1:25:00

13.1 miles 2:05:00

Total 4:12:00

Realistically, I won’t be at all surprised if it takes a good 30+ minutes longer than that, especially considering the lumpy bumpy terrain, but it gives me something to work towards. I’ll try to keep the blog updated over the weekend, but at the very least I’ll be waffling about it on the twitter (@borntoplodblog).

1 It’s worth adding that I have terrible aim. You should see the state of my toilet.

6 thoughts on “Pre-race report: Colworth Marathon Challenge 2015

  1. I have no idea what times to aim for! I was planning on running to heart rate but I’m not sure what to stick to with the races increasing in distance. I think my plan (of sorts) is to just go out and have a great weekend, cheer my clubmates in and survive all three races! Does that count as a plan?…!

    • It does, and a much more sensible one than mine. My logic is that if I set myself a time goal and then fail to hit it (which I will) I’ll at least be able to write about the lesson I’ve learned 🙂

    • Thanks Katie. Weather was perfect, but a bit bright to begin with. Great little race. Now I can rest for… Oh crap!

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