A marathon … but not as you know it

3k, 5k, 8.05k, 10k & 16.1k. If you speak in Olde English, 1.86, 3.11, 5, 6.22 & 10 miles

Which ever language you use, those distances add up to a marathon (42.2k or 26.2 miles).

Those OSR’s who have run a marathon will know that it is quite a herculean task, with 4-6 months of training, culminating in the best moment being when you reach the finish line and can STOP RUNNING! An alternative way of running the distance is to break it down into 5 runs, the challenge is then to run it somewhat faster than in a single run and maybe see if you can beat your hard earned actual marathon time.

As always, there are rules;

All distances must be run in June;
You can’t ‘double claim’ a run – so if you run a stonking 5 mile, it can’t count for 5 mile and 5k;
Unless it is the sum of the distances, so a 5 mile run could count for 5k and 3k;
Those who prefer shorter distances were allowed to split the 10 mile into 2 * 5 mile

Baz was first out of the blocks, getting his first 4 runs done in the first week of June, Matt started off a little more conservatively, with the aim of getting all distances done at a reasonable effort by mid June and then improving them. Other people were keeping their powder dry, building fitness, testing routes and went for it in the 2nd half of the month.

Thankfully (nearly) everyone who has run a marathon managed to beat their race time;

Kieran knocked a huge 1:47:44 off his marathon time

Liz took 1:26:35 off her marathon time

Naomi was 58:57 quicker than her marathon time

James Norris beat his marathon time by 40:39

Baz was quicker than his marathon time by 34:08

Matt beat his marathon time by 30:47 (& went sub 3:00). Mainly thanks to resorting to a track 10k and 5 mile towards the end of the month.

James C took 7:14 off his marathon time; &

Karen beat her time by 53 seconds and also was exactly 1 second quicker than Matt’s race marathon time!

Viv ran most of the distances on trail and was 21:57 slower than her road marathon time

An average reduction of 45:52, or in percentage terms 16.77% (not changed to inc Viv)

So for those who took part in the challenge who haven’t run a marathon before, here are your target times;

Andrew – 3:27:59, Eddie 4:27:50, Magda 4:02:38 and Nicole 3:50:50. Personally I think all of those are quite beatable if you follow a good training programme and have a decent race.

Overall, fastest women were Nicole (3:12:08), Magda (3:21:57) and Karen (3:29:38). For the men, first place goes to Andrew (2:53:07), then James (2:58:13) pipping Matt (2:58:51).

Podium in individual stages; Men – 3k – Andrew, James, Matt, 5k Andrew, James, Matt, 10k – James, Matt, Andrew, 5 mile – Andrew, Matt, James, 10 mile, Andrew, Matt, James

Women – 3k – Nicole, Magda, Karen, 5k – Nicole, Magda, Karen, 10k – Magda, Karen, Nicole, 5 mile – Magda, Nicole, Karen, 10 mile – Nicole, Magda, Karen.

Those who play golf will be familiar with match play (points based on your relative position for each hole) vs score play (total strokes). Applying match play to Marathon de Stages, 1 point for a win, 2 for 2nd, 3 for 3rd, lowest total score wins, results in no change for the men, but a tie at the top for women, with both Nicole and Magda on 8 points.

Lastly, our average pace (mins/km) for each leg. Cells highlighted in grey indicate that you ran this leg at a faster average pace than a shorter (distance) leg. Well done Eddie, Magda and Naomi for getting progressively quicker as the distances reduced.

Finally, congratulations and thank you to everyone who took part.