the Marathon of the North



  • I'm doing a parkrun tomorrow, in Kings Lynn, as I'm young/spritely/stupid I'm going to race it, I've also got a cycle race on Sunday, but I'm trying to convince myself as it's low impact I'll be okay!?

    Yeah I'm pretty daft really.. Very easy week leading up to the marathon next week, I do recover well, so hopefully everything will be okay!
  • Just checking in before I head to London tomorrow for the mara. Tested out some new taper techniques and feel pretty good! Not looking forward to next week and my planned 3 milers on Wed/Thurs/Fri to get ready for the MOTN but really looking forward to the event itself.

    I tweeted the MOTN guys and they replied that over 1000 people are running this for the 2nd year in a row - this was my first ever mara last year so am looking forward to returning. Any of you guys run it last year ?

    Anyway - will see you on the other side - enjoy the weekend !

  • glad you are back in Daveimage

    all the very best Adrian

    there has been lots of discussion on facebook on what to do to show solidarity and respect for Boston, I believe there is to be a minutes silence and runners encouraged to wear sky blue and yellow which are the colours of the Boston marathon, this can be a ribbon/swatch, think some people will have their faces painted in these colours so Shielsy nail varnish sounds perfect. Will update if I hear any more. Hopefully they will e-mail or put something on their website.

  • from facebook I read they are not selling the ribbons, just create something ourselvesimage

  • Best of luck at London, Adrian.

  • After umming and ahhing about racing Parkrun this morning, the competitive streak got the better of me and set a new PB of 17.40! I felt fine at the end as well, and 2 hours later feel I could do it again! Hopefully a good omen for next weekend!

    Hope everyone else's tapers are going more to plan then mine!

  • 8 miles just done on another cold windy day.

    I am now almost 100% convinced next week is going to be windy, as it seems to have been windy every single time I've gone out for a run - which puts me in a really bad mood.

    I'm now not going to run any more until the big day (apart from maybe a couple of miles mid week just to stretch my legs).

    A couple of my running friends have finished in sub 4 hours ... I'm made up for both of them.  I'd love a marathon finishing time that begins with a '3' but I doubt there's any hope of that ... my legs feel tired every time I go out now.

  • Hope it went well for you today Adrian!


    Oliver that's a cracking PB.   Well set up for next Sunday now image


    Shielsy you're sounding a bit low about it all? I'm sure you have a sub 4 in you, if it's not going to be this one after the troubles you've had training, perhaps treat it as a "training race" to set you up for your next one - experiment with pacing strategy and fuelling and that sort of thing?


    Tapering's so weird.  I did 6 miles yesterday, 5.5 today and now "the plan" has me down for 2, 4, 2 over the next week.  What is the point exactly of a 2 mile run?

  • Sorry Daisybrain, I'm just a bit down, I guess.

    I think it's largely been the weather more than anything - we've just had month after month of horrible conditions, a truly terrible winter and a so far non-existent spring ... and still this wind is just hanging around.  I absolutely cannot bear running in the wind - it makes even running a few miles at an easy pace feel like hard work. It doesn't matter how hard I've trained, if it's windy next week then it's going to be hideous (for me).  I'm just starting to dread waking up that Sunday morning and hearing it blowing a gale outside.

    I just want it over and done with now so I can drink the champagne that's been sitting patiently in my fridge since Christmas.


  • No need to apologise Shielsy, it's good to say how you're feeling. I know what you mean re the weather. My prediction is after struggling in snow, ice and bitter winds through the winter, there's going to be a heatwave next week and we'll all be greasespots on the tarmac...

    One thing we can take from Boston though - it's great we're able to run, and we should enjoy it no matter what.

    You're going to enjoy that champagne!!  I'd have it with a nice tube of Pringles post marathon


  • Stick in there everyone. I hate the taper, every creak and ache feels like it turning into an injury!

    My legs very slow right now as well. Time for some rest and charge the batteries.

    The 2 mile run is keep legs loose, but is more mental than physical to me. At least it is doing some running image

  • Thanks a lot Daisybrain! No idea where it came from!? First podium finish too, I got 3rd place, had a 40+ mile cycle race today, on a seriously hilly course, bronze again lol, not really ideal taper according to most studies.. So we'll see haha!

    Hope you regain your motivation Shielsy, the hardwork is done now! At least if it is windy we will all be well used to it! There are always positives to take away from everything!
  • Thanks everyone.

    Going out for a 2 mile run hardly seems the effort of getting ready for it, lol.  

    At least I've booked 2 days off work mid-week ... just so I can have two lie-ins, as I doubt I'll be sleeping much on Saturday night.

  • Hi all - Sorry to hear you're feeling a bit 'meh' Shielsy - I always get a little down before a big run. Think it must have something to do with decreased mileage and the results on the body/mind. Keep with it - come Sunday the adrenalin will pump and you'ill be fine!

    Thank you all for the kind words.

    Had an amazing weekend at London - the race, althought the sun was scorching - was truly life changing. The crowds were mental and the course was literally 26.2 miles of noise and happy, drunk spectators. Overwhelming really. I would encourage everyone to try and run it at least once.

    Time wise, clocked in at 3.54. Pleased as it shaved another 2 mins off my training pb, and almost 50 mins off last years MOTN. Pleasing progress.

    Run wise this week, planning to run Wed/Thurs/Fri all 3 milers, keep the legs moving and get ready for the weekend. Will be looking to be around 4/4.15 - doubt I will make it under 4 again but would be nice to do so....


  • brilliant Adrian, so glad you had a fab experience and such a good time, my brother in law was just behind you, he came in at 3.56image after reading your post I am tempted to try for the ballot again! Couple of questions......what was the toilet situation like? Is it very crowded on the course?

    I was going to do my last run with a friend today but am struck down with terrible tooth ache. So dentist for me instead. Will try to fit a short run in mid week......getting close now.

    How is everyone else feeling today?

  • Adrian - fantastic time!  Well done.  I've got to say though I can't believe you're contemplating doing it all again this week image  image.  I did London in 2011 (another scorcher that year too) and I totally agree - the crowds are just overwhelming ... all the way around you're greeted by this wall of noise.  I swear by the end I had a headache from all the cheering.

    How are you walking today?

    Lily - poor you, toothache?  That's something you can do without this week.  Hope you're feeling better soon.

    I've got a bit of a 'scratchy' throat, but I think it's more paranoia than anything else. My legs are a bit tired after yesterday's 8 miles, but I'm sure they'll settle in a day or so. 

    Now I suppose it's just a case of resting up, eating well, wearing sensible shoes all week and trying not to trip over anything.

  • Trust everyone is as excited / terrified as I am now?! Obsessively checking weather forecasts to find the best one at present! Had a final burst of energy on Sat to beat my parkrun PB at last so now feel justified for a good rest and couple of short runa - oh and a massage too I reckon.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a nice place to eat on Sat evening in or around Sunderland as I'm coming up with my family? Guess I'll rule out Indians etcimage thanks and good luck to you all.
  • Lily - the toliets were a little tricky before the run in the holding pens - however it seemed to be people orientated to the first in the pen as there were plenty nearer the back that had less - took me about 10 minutes to get in one so ok. Course wise, maybe every 2-3 miles until 20 if I recall correctly, maybe 5/6 portaloo's. There were STILL lines to wait in though actually on the course so if you can hold on that would be my advice.

    Course wise in general - yes, very crowded. I was in Blue pen 8 (Out of 9) and so the first 0-6 miles was zig-zag central as I overtook the walkers etc. Even when I got to a group of roughly my pace it was still chocka. The streets and the funneling meant a few occasions it became a bit of a crawl but after 10 miles it was just 'normal' so I got on with it. DEFO try for the ballet - you really need to go do it!

    Shielsy - all in all I feel fine. Post run I had planned to crack on with recovery so I had my shake and water ready (As well as my regular hydration tabs during the run) and used the walk to the train station to try and cool down etc. Ironically my only blister is from that walk with no socks on - but they're compeed'd up now so should be ok. Will foam roller tonight and rest until Wednesday.

    Can't wait for Sunday - last year holds such special memories for me. My wife is running the 10k and my parents are up again so it's a proper family affair.

    Hellsbells - no idea of local resturant, sorry! I live in Newcastle so could recommend some here!!

  • Does the MOTN facebook group say we should be wearing blue/yellow ribbon, or black ribbon like they had at the London marathon yesterday - is there an official decision?

  • Blue/Yellow I think, isn't it ?

  • Hellsbells - Italian MarinaVista Ristorante has a good reputation - I've not been for a couple of years. It is actually on the marathon course on the marina around the 16 mile mark.

    or Tavistock Italia Retro Restaurant, again this is at the Roker hotel, again on the seafront marathon course. You can search reviews / see maps on tripadvior.

    Weather forecast is not great at the moment with a N to NW wind. I have done a few training runs on the course in the wind and there is a fair degree of shelter from houses on the first half. However, a northerly wind on the seafront (miles 16 - 18.5 will not be easy.

  • post from the M of the N on their fb page on April 17th was "As a mark of respect there will be minutes silence at the start. Should you wish, wear a sky blue & yellow swatch/ribbon on your running vest for Boston." I have found some ribbon at home that I will pin to my shirt on the day. Will update if I hear anything has changed. Been through a traumatic few days with my tooth but saw the dentist today who hopefully has sorted me out. I need to eat more and get going ready for Sunday. Will hopefully go out for a short run on Weds or Thurs. Tooth ache has not let me think about anything else!

    Hellsbells, do you know there is a pasta party on Sat ev, free to runners and extras pay £3? I think Steve Cram is speaking at it. We can't go as travelling up early morning.

  • Ouch hope that toothache clears off before Sunday Lily! Last thing you want is something niggling away from the start!

  • Hi everyone,

    This will be my first marathon. I'm going for sub 3:30. According to predictors I should be capable of 3:10 or so, but I have never run beyond 20 miles-hell, I hadn't even run 20 miles until a month or so ago- so, who knows what will happen in the last 10k. 

    Shielsy- I understand your dislike of the wind. It's been a nightmare and can be so demotivating. My plan is to look for someone "large framed" going at about the same pace as me and do what cyclists do and lurk behind them.

    How's everyone finding the taper? I have only ever run half marathons or 10ks and never had anything like the anticipation I am feeling now. I've been riding my bike o work for years and today I don't think I have ever been as conscious of the threat posed by cars, pedestrians, dog, branches, plastic bags (!). I'm losing it...

  • Hi Capples, It's my first marathon too! I originally signed up with the intention of qualifying for London for next year, hence the (hopefully realistic) target of sub-3:10!

    What sort of times have you done your half marathons and 10ks in?

    The taper is driving me nuts, went out today running at a 45s slower than marathon pace and felt like I was standing still! Just need to be disciplined this week, and save it all for Sunday!

    Best of luck, my friend!

  • Hi Oliver,

    Half marathon around 1:29-1:28 (GNR, so crowded but can't be missed)

    10K about 40 mins - PB 39:35 ( a year ago)

    5K is my "best" distance, at least in terms of WAVA and whatnot, PB 18:48

    I think I'm better at the eyeball popping, lung bursting efforts than controlled pacing. Doesn't bode well for Sunday, does it? That's partly the reason I entered the marathon: the challenge of pacing and the mental discipline it demands. Oh, and a small matter of having to run 26 and a bit miles.


  • They are some great times! I wonder if the shorter distances suit me better too, hopefully not haha! I'm using my Garmin to pace me on Sunday, I am so bad at pacing without it!

    I ran a 20 mile race a few weeks ago and was really pleased with my time, and also how I felt at the end, the fastest mile I ran that day was the last one! So fingers crossed everything goes to plan!
  • Very impressive that you ran the last mile as the fastest; something I have tried and failed dismally. I'm simply (!) going to stick to 8 min miles. Sounds like a great plan. Actually, I have a terrible feeling that since we start with the half marathon runners I'll end up starting too fast. Need to be very careful. 

  • I have noticed on other threads that people post their bib numbers, clothing colours and race prediction times. Anyone wanting to to do this?

  • I don't know my race number as I'm at work, but I'll be wearing my club vest which is yellow with navy piping and a navy diagonal slash across the body (with something underneath if it's cold).  I'll probably have my 'real' name across the front and Shielsy on the back so give me a shout if you overtake me.

    Race predictions?  Well, I've only done one marathon before in 4:28, but I was hoping to do 4 hours on a day when everything goes well.  But if it's windy and/or my knees pack in, then who knows?

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