#265 - Kent Coastal Marathon Race Report

#265 Kent Coastal Marathon done! Quite pleased with my run as my legs weren't feeling full of life still after Berlin and the Park Run yesterday left me with sore knees. But stuck on the Hokas and as usual set out ridiculously too fast, but some days the "well OK I feel pretty good at mile 3, lets see if I can hold on another 23 miles" works! New PB 3:44:38 according to my Garmin! A bit out of the blue, though I have cut some weight, and I have been working harder at my running for a while now. Probably a rookie error to chop 14 minutes off a marathon PB in one chunk! Even more surprising was to win a trophy for the 3rd placed men's team with the Maidstone Harriers! What are these trophy things? Never seen one of those before!!


The Kent Coastal Marathon is always going to be on my list of races to run if fit and in the country as my local road marathon for starters and invariably a bunch of Maidstone Harriers take part too which is always good, rarely get a chance to hang out with these guys which makes the event even more social than usual. I'd been contacted by a film company who were looking to make a short documentary about me as part of the Sports Pursuit program so that added a bit more excitement to the day and a sincere desire not to fall flat on my face in front of the cameras! Another odd thing about Kent Coastal is that this would be the fourth time I'd done this event and was quite keen to make a decent effort at it, the three previous attempts had been blighted by tired legs, and less blighted by the ice cream stops! The route passes I reckon at least half a dozen of them, and in previous years I have been tempted once or twice!


I was there early to meet the film crew and sort myself out and began bumping in to some of the "Usual Suspects" so that was nice to have a bit of a chat. Before long it was down to work and gave a bit of an interview at the start line which was rather amusing interrupted by all sorts of things! From random folk asking if they could be interviewed, tannoy tests and compressors to motor bikes, laughter and me flunking the replies! I hope they can edit heavily the nonsense I was spouting!

There was a bit of a late start whilst they cleared runners from the loos and I was worrying near the front as the film crew wanted a shot of me at the front! I did step back a few rows at the last minute so as not to be steam rollered and get in everyone's way! Having said that I only noticed a couple of early runners going past me so must have been motoring at first!

There is a mile or so out and back at the start and I was head down from the start, my initial plan had been to run the first 5 or 6 miles as quick as I could more or less as the wind was behind and I knew that the miles 7-19 were going to be in to a headwind, so off I shot! For the first time ever I managed to string together 4 miles beginning with a 7:xx so that was good and I noticed that for a good while that really there was little progress or losing ground on the runners around me, I could see Michael White ahead of me and he sort of stayed the same distance away for miles, and as he's one of the better Harriers marathon guys that was pleasing. By about 8 miles I was caught by Russell Morling also from the Harriers who is an even better runner and after running together for a while he left me behind. He was looking to run at 8:00s and we were bang on the money there. In fact I managed to hold on to 8:00 till mile 10, my best time for 10 miles by a few minutes. My previous "guide" 10 miles for a good run was 90 minutes so knew I was going well.

About mile 11 there is a steep old hill which in truth wasn't quite as steep as I remember and although I did walk up a bit of it whilst having a bite to eat I still managed a sub 9:00 mile and had a chat with Paul German who was doing the half on the comeback trail from injury,

I was through the half way stage at 1:46 which is maybe 6 minutes than I'd ever done half in before and I was certainly thinking a PB was on here. The second half is pretty flat, rather dull along the sea wall and the wind didn't seem TOO bad at this stage... so off I hauled. I lost sight of Michael White somewhere along the way (I found afterwards he'd not been 100% and popped in to a loo) and then the tough miles hit along the sea wall, the wind really picked up, concrete walls, the smell of decaying sea weed... the speeds dropped to the 9:xxs for the first time and then 9:30 but then it was time to turn and have the wind behind at last!

I worked out that anything reasonable on the last few miles would be a PB by a little way, With about three miles to go I worked out that if I got a bit of a move on I could actually get under 3:45 but then the dilemma of should I break my PB by too much in one go! Oddly I caught and passed Russell so he must have been having a bad day too and then with two miles to go found Chris Rampling another Harrier walking, a quick word of encouragement and off I continued, but he soon caught me up and we pushed each other along the last quarter of an hour having a bit of a chat and before you know it, was home!

Work not done though as then had to continue the interview and then run up and down for a while so that the film guys could get some more shots, which was quite amusing. We had to shoot the cake eating ones a few times! lol

Most surprising was that the Harriers came in third in the team competition and I won a little prize award thing for being in the top three. NEVER had anything like that happen before! Finally film shooting was done and a chance to catch up with some folk... all in all a rather good day!

Things I Learnt

home | about me | wise words? | race reports | contact Copyright © Traviss Willcox. All rights reserved