Kent Circuit Marathon – Lap after lap after lap

After the amazing race in Guernsey the weekend before (the 2018 edition sold out in 2 or 3 days!), I wanted to try and push my body by booking a marathon the weekend after. As soon as someone said I couldn’t do it, that pretty much made my mind up that I was going.

So, alarm went off at 5 and off I trundled down to Gravesend for the Kent Circuit Marathon run by Inspire Races. With no particular ambitions for the race I just wanted to get into a rhythm and get it done to then be able to enjoy the bank holiday weekend.

First mistake, you kind of need to be up for running a marathon so that just made my life harder! Secondly, I picked this race to wear a running vest for the first time. Those of you who have not yet eaten, don’t read any further. To quote my wife “that’s an interesting look, maybe you should have had a wax first!”

I’ll leave you hanging for a few more paragraphs before the beauty that is me in a vest, reveals itself!

So the race, it’s at the Gravesend cyclo park and is one small lap followed by 20 laps of about 1 and a bit miles. You count the laps by wearing hairbands or elastic bands on your wrist and remove one at each lap. You also have a runner’s area where you can leave some drinks etc as you’re passing it every mile!

 

As you can see, I came with a way oversized table, a cool bag with some stuff and some elastic bands! The table next to me were basically camping for the weekend!

In terms of the laps, let me recreate the fun for you so you can relive the lap – like on Ski Sunday when Graham Bell skis the scary Super G before the actual competitors!

From the start, slight uphill bend to the right to reach your table and have a drink. Long downhill past the plastic fence, at the left bend slight uphill (to walk once you get to the discarded carb gel in later laps). Flat section, come back on yourself down hill to the marshall who didn’t stop for the whole race, then round the bend and then up tourettes hill, get to the 3rd clump of grass then walk the first hill. Then run, gate to gate past the drinks station, to then next walk up the hill to the finish/start. Discard an elastic band and repeat 19 more times!

The first few laps were OK, all a bit novel, the rain came which was refreshing and then I hit the slog and to be totally honest at 10 laps nearly just stopped as was just bored. A guy running next to me spotted I was about to jack it in and just said, come on, do a couple more then you’ll be nearer the finish and wont want to stop. He was right and I carried on to the finish. Am pleased I finished it and pleased I did some good endurance but that was about it. Sorry my race reports are normally more upbeat and yes, awesome, I ran a marathon which should never be taken likely, but I think after the beauty of Guernsey, the week before, it was more of a functional bit of training.

Anyway, the bit you’ve all been waiting for, drum roll…….. me in a vest !

Calm yourselves ladies, signed photos are available on request and yes, I even wore a cap to complete the look !

The medal was a pocahontis style medal, allegedly she was from Gravesend, who knew (!) and the medal was huge, so my girls loved it!

So training is broadly going well and I seem to be in the swing of it. Rest week this week until the weekend, then back on it I think.

Onwards and upwards with my next race being Endure 24 in a couple of weeks. Always a great weekend with a dash of drunken behaviour.

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