Mablethorpe Marathon Race Report

Mablethorpe Marathon – Report by Dave Birch

We were up at 5am to prepare for the trip to the Lincolnshire coast. My chauffeur (chauffeuse?) arrived as she promised at 6am, and together with John & his mate Ben we headed off into the dark. This was good, because we then drove east into the sunrise, and the advent of a glorious day. We reached Mable just after 8am, so had lots of time for the necessary ablutions/baggage store etc.

So, off we went. I did my usual and ran the first mile in 7:40, 20 secs quicker than my intended 8 min pace, but recalibrated and settled in. Felt a bit laboured and stiff, but after 3 or 4 miles I felt comfy. The first half was fairly uneventful – I passed a garage – proprietors “J & D Birch”, so took this as a positive omen – Just running with stopwatch, and I forgot to check at halfway (these days I run a lot by feel) but felt OK, but reminded myself to concentrate, as I was already fairly isolated. John passed me a half bottle of Luco Sport which I carried and sipped for 4 or 5 miles (only water on the course, not a problem as carb-loaded, but a bit of extra fuel always handy). So, passed 18, 19, 20 – still felt strong, but had reached here from halfway not passing/being passed by anyone – like a solo training run ! A chap then came alongside who was doing only his 2nd marathon, so we chatted a bit, then I encouraged him to get cracking, as he seemed easy, and I was now working hard.

Started counting the miles down now, as we came back into Mable – a couple of miles went by through housing estates, and I now had runners in my sights, and started passing one or two. Then I approached the ramp up to the seafront, but first we had to veer off and do a mile or so up and down streets on an estate, so lots of twists and turns (I was getting grumpy here).

Finally, this unpleasant bit was over, and I ran up the ramp onto the seafront, for the last 1.5 miles to the finish. I just concentrated on the buildings at the far end, using them as a magnet to draw me along; I also didn’t want to let the last runner I had passed get back to me. So, along this seemingly interminable stretch, encouraged by day trippers, and a sign stating “seems heck of a long way for a free banana”, I reached the ramp taking us down to the final 385 yards to the finish. Turning into the last yards, the finish arch & clock came into view, and I must say, even after doing a few of these, that feeling of crossing the line is just wonderful. 3:34:03, so 1 min 42 secs slower than Manchester.

Simply, I think the fact that the 2nd lap saw me so isolated that I probably lost concentration for periods, then the horrible mile round the twisty estate before getting up to the seafront maybe cost time. But I’m happy, that’s completion 25, so ready for my swansong at VLM2015, which I’ve realised is on the 26th!

On reflection, I’m pleased – 2 of my 3 aims were satisfied I broke the club V60 record (although I’m not the new record holder – Barry (Gyte) got 3:16:50)!! I got round in one piece and back on track for the aforementioned goal of the 26th at VLM. Slower than Manchester, but 2 out of three will do. (Also first time since 1995 that I’ve done Spring & Autumn successfully). After I finished we awaited JD (our chauffeur) coming in; we didn’t have long to wait as she stormed down the ramp and along the last stretch like a madwoman (nothing new there, then) to notch a great comeback result of 3:50:15

We stayed for the awards, by a splendidly bearded and pony-tailed Lord Mayor of Mable. It’s the only presentation I’ve been at where someone (JD, naturally)got her hairdryer out, plugged it in next to the stage, and proceeded to dry her hair so she looked good for the presentation !!!

Barry picked up 1st V60 trophy, there was even one for 2nd which I nabbed, and our grooming device wielding driver picked up 3rd Female V40, with a superb 3:50.15

Striders also got a very nice trophy for 3rd overall team (not too shabby as two of our scorers were age 60)! This did mean I twice had to ascend the steps onto the stage; not that easy after the morning’s exertions. Jacqui showed off by springing gazelle-like up the stairs . . . . .

To round off the day, John was 7th in the half, (1:20) and Ben was 4th (1:19).

So, an excellent day out, rounded off with fish and chips in the sun. We headed back to the car for the journey home (JD showing off again by friskily running (!) back to the vehicle).

We listened to a selection of jaunty tunes on the way back, finishing off with “Ring of Fire” by Johnny, as we all sang along.

P.S.  Mention must be made of the fag smoking marshals and the mobility scooters that were used to blockade the roads until the runners came through. All adding to the “high life” of running in Mablethorpe!

PS2.   I must also add a mention for a fine marathon run by Nick Scott (3:04), who led the Striders’ team home for the 3rd team overall prize, and the much appreciated encouragement from Peter Brown, both at the start, and en-route after he had completed the half marathon. It was also a pleasure to bump into Paul Stuart.

scroll to top