MBNA Chester Marathon 2013



  • Im not in,
  • Bad luck Griffo - plenty of decent alternatives though.

    No mag for me. What does that mean?

  • señor Spam, crikey! That's some way to finish a marathon, especially on a track image


    not sure how using a pacer is cheating unless you are getting a piggybackimage

  • I have always been terrible at pacing - "banking" fast early miles and then hanging on at the end feeling like crap.

    I need to go sub 3:20 for GFA VLM 2015 (did 3:23 at Blackpool 2013 when I thought my age time was 3:15) so my plan is to see if I can keep up with the 3:15 pacer for as long as possible and try to hold


    I can't see that as cheating in any way, it's a means to an end and I hope it will bring the best out in me.



    Loads and loads of people use Garmin-style devices to regulate pace (either with bleeps, images of runners on the dial).  .  Others run with friends who they know run an even pace which suits them.   Others still  utilise a pace band and mile markers to keep them on track.


    All of the above are 'external' aids to an even pace.  What's so different with a race-organised pacer?




  • Thanks guys. 15West, I'm in pretty good shape, but the marathon is waaaaay more important. Snowdon will still be there on October the 7th lol!

  • Will it be easy to find my pacer??

  • They'll be in a bright green top with the goal finish time on the back.
  • Its still early days but the forecast isnt looking great for next Sunday.....


    I dont actually mind running in the rain but it won't be much fun for supporters.

  • That forecasts just shows that could be anything...cloudy, sunny, wet, cold, warm. Let's keep finger's crossed for a nice day, if weather forecast too bad I expect I'll be travelling down there with no family.

  • It shows rain on the Sunday doesnt it!?

  • Got all sorts of aches and pains in my right leg. Another thing to worry about. Worry worry.

  • 10 of us up from s wales,me the only one running,they won't care what the weather is like,only how many pubs they can find in the 4 days we are up for,lol!????
  • I remember doing Liverpool a few years ago and the forecast was horrendous all week but it actually stayed dry for most of the race so i won't take the forecast too serious!

  • Just getting over heel bursitis,still. Only about. 90% but looking forward to it hoping for a sub 4 ,21 mins of my Blackpool time in march,but just don't know.
  • I was at that one Mark. Was a bit windy though! But, yes weather was fine until the end. Manchester 2012 on the other hand....they got that forecast spot on...horrendous!

  • mark1981 wrote (see)

    It shows rain on the Sunday doesnt it!?



    It shows rain and sun on every day beyond 5 days pretty much...so who knows. This one looks better though...


    Every day we get closer the forecasts will get a bit more accurate, but as we all know they can even be wrong the day before.

  • Like i said its early days so its not worth worrying about it yet, i think id be more concerned about strong winds than rain.

    How did u get on at Liverpool? I think thats probably the hardest marathon ive done.

  • bev hart wrote (see)

    Will it be easy to find my pacer??

    The sub 3.45-pacers, Caz and Colin: 


     Me (Kelvin):


    There are other pacers.  But these are the attractive ones.

    Our t-shirts have the target time on the back:


    I think the idea is that we carry a lollipop with our target time on for the first mile or so, so there shouldn't be too much trouble finding us in the first 10 minutes of the race.  We have a final training run at Total Fitness in Chester on Sunday (9am), so details will be confirmed then.

  • Are you aiming to run bang on 3 hours or will u be aiming for slightly quicker, (say 2.59 for example?)

    I know it sounds like a stupid question but if you plan to finish on almost exactly 3 hours then those following you need to overtake you at some point later in the race if they want to go sub 3 which might be easier said than done!

  • Liverpool (2011) was my first. Think I did it in about 3.25...and yes I found it hard. That run up that long hill at about mile 18 and then round and round that park were a real struggle. Enjoyed it though, amazing support through the town centre and coming out of the tunnel.

    Surely the pacer should be 2.59.59. Any more or any less would be a disgrace! The only time I used a pacer was at Manchester when going for sub 3.15 and stuck with him till about the last half mile and then left him and came in at 3.13.xx. He did a good job that pacer in terrible conditions...but remember pacers are human and can have bad days too!

  • Oh, and got my GFA london mag today...

  • mark1981 - I'll be aiming to hit the line with about 30 seconds to spare.  This will mean hitting 25 miles in ~2:51:00, 26 miles in ~2:58:00, and 26.2 in ~2:59:30.  With the best will in the world, mile markers, Garmins and humans are not 100% accurate so there needs to room for error. 

    Probably more detail than is necessary, but I'll be using 'Lap Pace' on my Garmin to guide my pace during the race (but I won't stress about a downhill mile being slightly quicker or an uphill being slightly slower than the average).  I will switch off the Autolap on my Garmin, and will manually hit 'lap' every time I go past a mile marker.  A second field on my Garmin will show 'Avg. Lap'.  The aim will be to keep this at around 6:50 min/mile to give 30-60 seconds slack by the end. 

    With this strategy, it won't matter whether my Garmin ends up recording 26.2 miles or 26.6 miles (they almost always overmeasure), and even if the 26 mile marker is wrongly placed by 100 metres or so then we still get in under 3 hours because of the 30 seconds of slack.  Although my plan is to get to the racecourse super-early, and physically check the distance between the 26 mile marker and the finish line.  I don't want any surprises!

  • That sounds good to me Njord, I understand that pacers can't always get it perfect to the hour,minute and second, just wondered what time you were aiming for. 

    It probably sounds like a stupid question to some people but the difference between someone running 2.59.01 to 3.00.59 is quite a big one especially when you're tired. 

    Im hoping I don't need to rely on anyone to set my pace but it doesn't hurt to ask. 

  • Njord I am concerned you mention an uphill mile. That's not what I enetered Chester for


  • My first-ever marathon was the 2006 Flora London Marathon.  I reached half-way in 1:29:30 and finished with 2:58:46.  I spent the entire second half ticking off the miles and checking at each one that I still had those 30 seconds in the bank.  I daresay I could have picked up the pace slightly towards the finish if I really needed to, but having a small buffer (1 minute or less) is a better place to be. 

    I don't think anyone would appreciate a pacer throwing in a 5:30 last mile to duck under their target time (as if I could manage that after 26 miles!).

  • Barlick - an 'uphill' mile will be 7:02 minutes for the same effort as a 6:52 flat one.  What inclines there are will be short or shallow.  Sandy Lane towards the finish is as tough as they get - time to dig deep and remember all those hard miles run in training

    Chester course is pretty darned flat.  Not pancake, but you really wouldn't want that.  Marathons in places like Rotterdam or Amsterdam can be very windy without hills to break up the airflow, and shallow inclines use leg muscles differently and help break up the monotony.

    Do not stress about hills at Chester.  They are small, short and few and far between.  Honestly.

  • Lets get it on.
  • thanks for all the info Njord - all very useful.  And thanks for asking, Mark1981, as I was wondering the same thing, albeit about the 3:15 pacer (Neil - almost as attractive as Njord).  I'm reasured about Sandy Lane being either short or shallow (assuming this is the baby at mile 24 that I've heard lots about).

  • The hill at mile 24 is not really that nasty...it's just that it is at mile 24 that makes it so infamous. Just be prepared for it and sprint up that sucker impressing your fellow runners. Then collapse.

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