Monday, September 3, 2012

Marathon 28 done and dusted

Nerves?  Pah!
I had a lovely day and really enjoyed myself, smiling all the way round.  My breathing was OK throughout, my only real problem being a massive cramp in my left hamstring at around 18 miles.  Thankfully a nice man helped me to get rid of it by stretching my leg out.  I had my usual sore right knee and right hamstring pain up in my bum for the last 4 miles or so and the last 3 miles were slower than I would have liked.
Fab to see so many  100 marathon clubbers  there and to chat to old friends en-route.  I love out and back/roundabout routes like this 'cos as a slower runner I get to see all the speedy peeps which is inspirational.
Lovely to chat to Birdypie at the start and hope you enjoyed the half (lightweight!)   

Kent Coastal marathon 2012
The race starts and finishes in Margate which is part of the Isle of Thanet (which isn't actually an island any more, although it was in the past) and is home to the Turner Contemporary art gallery.  

As we passed Bleak House, where Charles Dickens spent the summer and wrote David Copperfield, there were lots of tourists taking a peak inside.  The first half goes through the pretty town of Broadstairs which was alive with people.  The beach huts there were busy and there was a lovely atmosphere.  I'd forgotten how "undulating" the first half is and some of the undulations are more like hills!  Nothing too onerous and thankfully the second half is nice and flat (well apart from that short sharp hill alongside the Turner Contemporary on the way back!).  

The first half was hot and sunny and being on the coast we were quite exposed - I've got a white band where my running watch was.  There was a nice breeze to cool us down though.

By the time I got back to Margate it was a bit overcast and not too hot and the sky remained grey for the rest of the day.  The town is being rejuvenated but I was quite shocked (not in a good way) at how it had changed from the last time I was there in 2007.  Many years ago Mike and I used to take part in what was known as the 'convertible convoy',  organised by the Lady Taverners,  in which a large number of people with Saab convertible cars would take disabled children from London for a day trip to Margate to visit the seaside and to try the various rides on the funfair known as Dreamland which is now derelict although there is a campaign to save it.

I was also shocked at the state of the beaches.  I'd heard in the local news that they had problems with smelly seaweed and they weren't wrong - the tide was in, the seaweed was plentiful and it stank!   No wonder local businesses worry that it will keep tourists away.  Part of the marathon route is right along the seafront on a wide concrete path leading to Minnis Bay and there are lots of beach huts there.  Last time there was a mass of people sitting outside their huts enjoying the sea view and I had to pick my way through them.  This time there was just a handful of die-hards there.

The section along the seafront is quite hard going as it's all on concrete which tires your legs out.  Once that was over though it was tarmac all the way.  The marshalls were superb and very encouraging and I got a lovely welcome when I crossed the finish line.  I took 28 minutes off my previous time from 5 years ago, coming home in 5:09, which was my goal so I couldn't be happier.

Heading towards the finish line

The 100 Club were celebrating 2 members - one who had completed her 100th marathon and another who'd completed 200!  I had a brief chat with Ruth (who's now well over 200) and Kaz (who's on 85) before heading off to get an ice lolly and the drive home.

As Wallace and Grommit would say, it was a grand day out!


Shan said...

Marvellous! So happy to hear it - I was thinking of you. Glad you took a look at Bleak House on your way by!

Susie Hewer said...

Thanks Shan!