I first did this 3 years ago where my times for both days were in the 3 hour 55 mins range (and that was hard work!) I then went back 1 year later and ran 2.45.13 (that felt easy even 4 days after running 50 miles on a trail race) I missed a year (somehow - not sure what my excuse was?) before going back this year.
|Looking totally exhausted after 2.52 marathon or maybe I had a bit of energy left? ;)|
It's a simple straightforward course, tarmac and paved with 2 steps, very little camber 5 and a bit km out then turn around and run back, 4x each day. Simple.
I'd had a bit of a heavy week Christmas week (no not on the ale or food, but covered just over 150 miles ) including the Tour de Helvellyn and 40 odd km Xmas day and Boxing day so my original plan was to only enter the New years day marathon and go for a pb attempt, seeing the weather forecast a strong headwind for half of the race, I decided to go for the double and accept a slightly slower pace and enjoyed a 1 day taper where I only ran about 12km (taking this race very seriously, you see)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nozzawales/11783177153/in/set-72157639450439164/ Photos - start day 1
Day 1, just on arrival rain broke out and remained quite persistent for a while though it did dry up during the run and although a little breezy, conditions were otherwise ideal. 2 hours 52 for me
Day 2, well the weather was a bit wild when I woke up and became a bit drizzly as I cruised along the empty roads to Liverpool. The wind was pretty strong (I've heard all sorts of accounts and descriptions , many including F words and many adjectives) At one point I was struggling to maintain 10 min mile pace into the wind yet running back at 7 min miles felt comfortable. Final time 3.12.
Had the weather been similar both days I think the times would've been much closer, most of the times I heard were around 15-30 mins slower the 2nd day. My legs have got pretty well conditioned to the multi day long runs after all this Spine training, so it was a good confidence boost.
Terrific friendly race and great to catch up with so many friends and even make some more! The atmosphere between runners as you pass each other on various laps is brilliant. You could even go on a serious pb mission if you had a still day!
Who knows what will happen next year though I'm sure I'd go back if I'm about ;)