So, it’s 6 days until the South Downs Way 100 and I’m finally getting round to writing about the Eastbourne Track Marathon.
Over the past 3 months we have familiarised ourselves pretty well with the second half of the 100 and getting lost is now hopefully an impossibility.
Just imagine if you managed to get lost in the 300 metres. That would be a serious disaster. They say ‘fail to prepare and prepare to fail’, so the Eastbourne Track Marathon proved to be the perfect chance to familiarise myself with the last 300 metres of the 100 by running around the track 105 and a half times.
There are so many things to love about a track marathon. Your own personal aid station every 400m, the official aid station every 400m, the same supporters every 400m, the same piece of track every 400m, the same strong head wind every 400m. In fact, the same everything every 400m. 105 and a half times.
We ran the first 2 laps to the Benny Hill theme tune, which was a nice touch. From then on, the PA played us every song imaginable that could be associated with running around a track. This could be potentially annoying, but any annoyance was soon forgotten as I ran the last 2 laps to one of my favourite songs ever – Stars of Track and Field by Belle and Sebastian. A very obscure, but incredibly well timed distraction for the last 800m.
I had secretly planned to go for a PB. I was feeling good and the track is flatter than anything ever.
It was all going well until about 30k and then the wheels fell off. To be fair, wheels were falling off everywhere. From those at the front of the field to the slower runners, people were really struggling. A mixture of the heat, the tough back straight into the head wind and the total boredom of laps 80-106 were really getting to people.
Suffice to say that I didn’t make it. It was my second best time ever, but I suppose it was expected having dome the Ox 50 the week before.
Anyway, nothing more to say really. No countryside to talk about.
Everyone who likes the challenge of a marathon should try a track event. They’re like nothing else and seriously put your head to the test. Fingers crossed that the Sussex Trail Events manage to resurrect the Velothon in November.
Oh, and there’s a lovely medal as well.