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by Val Baxter

December 18, 2013

Marathon diary – week 5

Week 5…not much done this week!

This week started really well, a gentle trot on Monday as my hip recovered, and to be honest it was quite good to have the easy run. It was a lot warmer than I had expected so I met up with Dave and we sauntered off down the road behind Adrian, Conna and Tom. We didn’t see them for very long as they disappeared into the distance. Meanwhile, Dave and I sorted the world’s problems along the 5 ½ mile course. We did however make up for the easy session the following day when 4 of us blazed a trail round by Waldridge, the Riverside and back to the club. It was about 9 miles and at a canny pace, conscience now clear.

Wednesday was the club meeting, so no running that day, and Linda was out so we had to have a takeaway for tea, which meant going to the pub while they made the order…

Thursday was hardly anything as I stood and talked to Tommy watching the group doing strides. Nothing Friday, then a terrible run round the North Easterns on Saturday. A rest on Sunday meant I was ready for a good one on Monday, but alas, Dave isn’t well, and I HAVE TO GET THE CLOAKROOM FINISHED!!!! That has dragged on too long already, so I am going to forfeit my run tonight, and hopefully that will free me up for the rest of my training, no more jobs to do.

So not much to tell this week, so here are a few facts about the marathon, I wonder if you know…

Did you know the first marathon was run from the battlefield in Marathon, Greece, to Athens, and the soldier who completed the 25 miles proclaimed the victory and then collapsed and died…hope I don’t!!

The race was changed at the 1908 Olympics in London. It was going to be 26 miles, but Queen Alexandra requested the course should be extended so that the royal children could see the runners from their nursery, so it was extended by 385 yards. I will remember that when I am running down the Mall, at least the royal bairns will be able to see me!!

A 10 stone woman will burn off 2777 calories if she runs a marathon at 10 minute mile pace, which is almost twice their normal recommended calorific intake. That has to be more effective than most weight loss diet plans, eat and drinks as much as you want, then run a marathon!! What would you lose first, the weight, or your knees?? It has been said to me that you can eat as much as you want for 30 minutes after exercising because your body is still breaking down fat…metabolising, in the form of catabolising! That is why we are ok to eat sweets and cakes after races – woo hoo!!

The London marathon is the biggest marathon in the world, however in 1897 the Boston marathon was run with only 15 competitors, yet was so popular that in 1971 it was mandated that to gain entry you had to be able to do 3 ½ hours! Now 25,000 runners take part!

Paula Radcliffe holds the women’s world record of 2hrs 15min 25 sec. That is 12 minutes slower than the men’s world record holder Patrick Makau Musyoki.

On a smaller scale…1/2 marathon, our own club member and friend Steve Langley entered the record books for the fastest time for a ½ marathon dressed as a camel in 2005. He completed in 2hrs and 9 minutes. Bet you didn’t know that…ask him about it!

The Marathon of the Sands lasts six days and covers around 155 miles, the equivalent of six marathons, of the African Sahara. The longest day covers 52 miles, and runners must carry their own food and belongings along the way (water and tents are supplied). Rachid El Morabity, the 2011 winner, finished the course in 20 hours, 56 minutes, and 19 seconds. Aurora’s Keith Weavers is doing this next year, returning as I am running through the streets of London!!

There you are, I hope they were interesting facts for you, next week I hope to be telling good tales of my runs as I hope to get back into the swing of preparation.

As a parting comment…well done to Tommy and his athletes again at South Shields in the North Easterns. 1 x gold, 1 x silver and 2 x bronze that is roughly a medal for each of his junior age groups.


Read earlier entries in Brian’s marathon diary, and catch up on club items you’ve missed in our news archive.

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