Thursday, April 04, 2013

Boscombe Quarter Marathon

By the time I had got to this race I had already done 8 miles. After registering for the race I did another 1 mile run to warm up again along the first part of this race. I thought I was seeing things as I saw some goats grazing on the cliff side.

Boscombe Quarter Marathon

I then got ready for this race luckily I had a spare kit with me after doing the first race and extra miles in the cold.

The route was an out and back going out along the promenade for about 2.5m then a 1 m loop around part of the far end of the town before a 3 mile run back along the cliff top road.

Boscombe Quarter Marathon Boscombe Quarter Marathon

The turn point is somewhere in the distance.

Boscombe Quarter Marathon Boscombe Quarter Marathon

The first 2 miles were flat an in to a slight headwind that was cold, I had lost count how many beach huts we had gone past.

Boscombe Quarter Marathon Boscombe Quarter Marathon

By the time I got to 2 miles I was starting to suffer with the miles already done including the faster pace parkrun and fast first mile in this race. When we got to about 2.5m there was the turn point, you could hardly see the start from here.

Boscombe Quarter Marathon

This went up a slight incline which felt a lot bigger on to the loop section. I took this opportunity to walk to give me legs a bit of rest and have a gel. I then got going and back in pace for the loop.

Boscombe Quarter Marathon

At 3 miles there was an water station I was more interested in the chip shop across the road (went back post race).

Boscombe Quarter Marathon

There was a few inclines on this section which felt tougher with the miles already done.

I had then assumed the cliff top road would be flat like the promenade section. However it was either undulating or always an incline.

Boscombe Quarter Marathon Boscombe Quarter Marathon
The pace was starting to take its tool but I was managing to keep the pace with overtaking some other runners who were suffering more than me, during this 3 mile section nobody overtook me.

You could judge how far from the finish you were by seeing how close the pier was, as you had to run to the pier entrance and back about 100m along the promenade. Luckily the last 1/4 mile was all downhill and fairly steep in places.

Boscombe Quarter Marathon

The issue was at the bottom of the hill near their pier you had to turn left while missing the bollards and other street furniture plus pedestrians.

Boscombe Quarter Marathon Boscombe Quarter Marathon Boscombe Quarter Marathon

There was also a brass band playing on the roundabout near the finish, they should have played the rocky theme.

Boscombe Quarter Marathon

You can see my pace getting slower for the first 3 miles before leveling out a bit and increasing on the down hill section near the end.

BoscomeQuarterMarathon-Splits

Still not a bad mornings work I got 2 PB’s and 15.5 miles ran all before midday :-)


As recovery I had my normal post run nutrition plus a hot cross that we got for finishing the race (along with yet another medal) and walked a few miles along seafront and pier while taking some photos.

Walking back up the stairs to the car park was interesting after all these miles.

Boscombe Quarter Marathon

By the time we finished the sun was even trying to shine through the clouds.

Boscombe Quarter Marathon

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Poole parkrun

This weekend I did Poole parkrun to see if it was as flat/fast as people (other runners) say it is, my opinion is at the end.

I got there really early, luckily the parkrun banner was out so I knew I was in the right place, I then spoke to some of the volunteers at the venue. I then had enough time to freedom parkrun which I took the photos during.

Poole Parkrun

It was good to see the park was closed to unauthorised vehicles until after parkrun had finished.



Poole Parkrun

Adidas even had a stand there with their latest trainers.
Poole Parkrun

It's the first parkrun I remember that had a PA system for the pre-race briefing, other have had megaphone (or not so mega) or small enough just to speak to the runners.

Poole Parkrun

I guess this is the Start line :-)

Poole Parkrun













The course is simple, go post the two red phone boxes and litter bin...

Poole Parkrun

Past the fountain on your right hand side...

Poole Parkrun

Watch out for cycles and other park users....

Poole Parkrun

Stay with the lake on your left handside and between the railway fence..

Poole Parkrun

Stopping for extra exercise is optional.

Poole Parkrun

Watch out for the the bollards on THE BIG INCLINE on the course :-)

Poole Parkrun

Keep following the path around the lake.

Poole Parkrun

Follow the path around the lake...

Poole Parkrun

Past the boating club on the corner of the lake.

Poole Parkrun

Then along the footpath..

Poole Parkrun

Watch out for the dragon in the lake..

Poole Parkrun

the eagle on the gate post...

Poole Parkrun

And the swans.

Poole Parkrun

If this is the end of lap 1 turn left and do the same loop again, if not turn right towards the finsh loop.

Poole Parkrun

The finish loop is around the cricket patch.

Poole Parkrun

All the way round the cricket boundary.

Poole Parkrun

With the finishing "straight"..

Poole Parkrun

Finally to the finish line.

Poole Parkrun

They even had a sweeper vehicle :-)

Poole Parkrun

From my run around the course it did seem really flat and fast course but I was taken it easy then stopping and taking photos. It was a bit on the cool side with a slight breeze which be headwind along the far side of the lake from the start.

I started about 1/3 from the front and started off at a fast pace which I hope I could maintain. As there was a lot of people at a similar pace I got in to a good rhythm, round the lake I took it slightly wider than most as the was some debris on the path next to the lake which I did not want to go for a swim on a cold day.

I went round the lake following the path and the 100 other runners that were ahead of me and the next thing I realised I had done over 3/4 of the distance already and was on the last section of the main loop. I picked up the pace a bit along towards were the start line was and then picked the pace up even more around the cricket pitch. This was further than I thought but there was no option of slowing down once I had kicked for the finish.

In the end I finished just over 23 minutes which was good pace for me, maybe it was not good idea as I had over 15 miles to run that day. From my GPS data I can see I went off fast then settled in to a pace before kicking for the end.


PooleParkrun-Splits

It was one of the more welcoming parkrun's that I have done with other 400 runners ranging from 15:20 for the winner to 45 minutes for the last person who completed the course, along with a lot of parkrun first timers as well.

The only problem I had was my parkrun barcodes did not like travelling across the county border and did not work so had to revert to the manual process.

I did not have time to stop and chat to the volunteers that much, as I off to the next race about 6 miles away which I had to register for on the day.


Based on the the winners time and how I felt the course was like, it was the flattest of the 22 different parkrun events I have done and I have done 5 different venues in East Anglia and Bushy Park. The only flatter course that I have heard about but not done is the alternative route at the Gorleston parkrun (norfolk) which is used when it is icy and they then run along the beach, as parkrun must go ahead.

However in ideal running conditions (training and weather) in addition to course flatness and running surface I think Poole would be the quickest.