#300 Martello Marathon

#300 Martello Marathon done! From a personal perspective was a stunningly bad run as did it in several stages over 7.5 hours! But wasn't about me today, far more inspiring was just how amazingly happy all the other runners appeared to be in just insane conditions! The headwinds up the coast were in the 30/40/50mph range all day and being a few feet from the sea all day meant there was next to no p rotection from the elements, but everyone seemed to be having a great time! Huge thank you to Rachel & Rosemary for my "300" cakes, I'm afraid there's not much left of those... and thanks to all the runners today for making it such a memorable occasion. After Bear 100 I thought I'd never complain about hills again and after today I don't think I'll ever grumble about a bit of wind!


The Martello Marathons were the inagural running of a marathon double put on by my good self and "Team Willcox" as it is often refered to. A nicely flat bit of the coastal path from Folkestone to Hythe had been recced out first of all in 2009 as part of the Folkestone Half but again several times afterwards and was a happy accident so to speak that it works out that the coastal path bit is just about one sixth of a marathon! Ideal, was actually put on at fairly short notice as had originally been thinking of this for the back end of 2014 rather than early 2014, but was a bit of a hole in the calendar and didn't fancy any of the muddy ones around and so of we went. Had been mulling mildly over where to have my 300th for a while and with a bit of jiggery pokery it worked out to be this one, which on the one hand was nice, but on the other I rather missed it as spent the time making sure everything else was going OK!


The main problem leading up to the event was the weather.The path runs very close to the sea in several spots and whilst recce #1 had seen about ten feet of shingle on the path, recce 2 and 3 had shown a LOT more. Only about maybe 250 yards in total, but far more than I would have liked. To make matters worse a big storm was due to hit on the Friday before and the forecast on the Saturday was dire at times. Seriously to the point where I was thinking about either cancellng or coming up with an emergency re-reroute. The problem though of this late storm meant it would have to be a very late decision and about 3 hours before anyone was due to be there, I ran the first leg, I say ran as the gale force winds in my face meant running was a loose description but the run back was fantastic! It was mixed news as in some places it was better, some places it was worse and with high winds and and a high tide due at 11:00 I made the choice (which I had told runners about earlier) was that the "official route" was going to be optional and that they could take any of the parallel paths or roads to the coastal path in the interests of safety. I basically didn't want anyone on the sea wall if they were feeling unsafe about it.

I met Rachel and Elanor just as I was finishing up looking at one of the alternate paths and we set up, which was a challenge in the wind! We didn't even try to set up properly as everything would have just blown away!

Was nice to be able to do the presentation of Jez Issac's medal and shirt at the start for his qualificication for the 100 Marathon Club and then we were off. I was supposed to be off with them, but in the start confusion, and general business I had forgotten to get changed! So by the time I got going was a good 10 or 15 minutes behind everyone else...

The wind had abated slightly, but was still incredibly strong on the outward legs, incredibly brilliant on the way back, I saw several 7:xx miles and really wasn't even trying, we won't mention the times in to the wind!

From a run perspective I basically spent the rest of the time messing about, making sure everything was OK, the waves were never quite as big as a I feared they could have been (although I did get a wet foot one time) and eventually I finished with 7:30 time time!

The Sunday I didn't run, and had never intended to, my legs, especially right ankle and shins still weren't happy so I was in restful mode for them but the weather couldn't have been more different, the gale was a mere gentle sea breeze, the sun was out and folk were complaining about how hot it was and several runners asked if we had sun cream!

I was really incredibly lucky on the cake front, four absolute cracking cakes from Rosemary Close, Heather McDonald-Hamilton, Mel Ross and Rachel of course!

Things I Learnt

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