We all have our goals and targets. For some of our friends they would be easy; for others they would be hard or impossible; for us they are our challenges. These are the things that motivate many of us, however easy or hard they would be for others. 4 hrs - for me, and others, this non-sensical, magical time is a huge goal. Today, at my 5th attempt I finally broke it, finishing in 3:56:06, 21st out of 45 in my age category; 264th out of 587 males and 307th finisher out 835.
I did this course last year and really enjoyed it, despite not getting under 4 hrs, so thought I would give it another go. I was better prepared mentally, but had had 4 weeks out of my training schedule with an injury. The last 6 miles were hard, but I didn't stop, except for 20 yards over some cobbles, which is by far the best marathon racing experience I have had.
The weather helped, cool and overcast until the sun came out for the last mile. The course is pretty flat and mostly track, like the greenway, and path, with a little bit of pavement. With only 835 runners (though the half-marathoners joined us for the last 5 miles or so) it was small enough that you weren't having to fight anyone, something I had to do in Paris and which put me off doing bigger races.
Very proud of myself for finally breaking that particular goal, but also a little disappointed that I didn't get under 3:50, if I am honest :)
Thanks everyone for your support in training sessions, which have been the training backbone of this successful attempt.
Great effort Phil huge congratulations.
Well done, Phil.
Delighted to hear that.
Congratulations Phil - glad your training paid off!
I had to laugh, though - you're a typical runner: having achieved your longed-for goal of sub-4, you are now looking at the next target of sub 3:50 We're never satisfied - but I suppose that's what keeps us striving for the next goal. I thought when I (finally) managed a sub-4 marathon that I would be satisfied - turns out I was wrong, and I had to go back and see if I could do it again!
I look forward to seeing what you can do next time (after a suitable recovery, of course....)
Fantastic Phil- really well done and well deserved, I'm really pleased for you. Keep your mileage up and start looking for another one and I'm sure 3.50 is on the cards. A challenge should be challenging but achievable - if you set too tough a challenge in the first place missing it by a mile can put you off altogether. Having a realistic goal and a 'dream' goal is a good plan - aim for the goal and, on a good day when everything goes your way, you might just get the dream!
Nice to see someone else recognising the benefits of a small field!
Congratulations Phil, delighted that you have achieved your goal. Totally agree with your comments regarding large marathons, small is great if you are mentally strong enough ... And you obviously were:)
Well done Phil - fantastic time.
Congratulations Phil. It sounds like a great marathon and one I would like to do!
... and just realised it was nearly a 9 minute pb :)
Congratulations Phil. Well done. Chuffed to bits for you.
Super News Phil. Was thinking of you yesterday so super pleased you got sub 4hrs. Excellent.