Firstly apologies for my lack of updates, Ive been pretty snowed under with work and uni and there wasn’t too many exciting things to write about as im still not 100% fit more on that in my next post which will come soon…… However……. This Sunday gone (22/03/2015) was the day of the Trimpell 20, this 20 mile race sits perfectly for anyone planning a spring marathon and a race i set as my marathon dress rehearsal day.
The race is held in Lancaster and boasts a 99% traffic free route with only a few slight inclines, making it very much a perfect test run for your marathon. Also it starts and finishes on a race track, which is pretty cool.
Arriving early for a change, mainly as i was giving a guy from work a lift to the race, i had plenty of time to warm up , check out the finish route and take in the atmosphere. Over 500 hundred runners had turned out, the majority of which would of no doubt turned out to prepare for a marathon. It was sunny but there was a slight breeze, perfect running conditions and despite still not being 100% i had taken the day before off training and i was feeling good to go, with a plan of running an even pace of 6:50 pm , which would get me just under the 3 hour mark over the marathon……if i can manage it of course!
As we lined up at the start i remembered i had forgotten to set my Garmin…..panic struck this could be a disaster…..luckily the race was delayed as the organisers kindly waited for two other runners to finish getting their numbers and this gave me just enough time to get a signal and set my watch, i was now ready and then we were off. Using the inside lane of the track i made my way up the field as we looped the track one time before heading off out onto full race course. My Garmin telling me off in the process beep beep your going to fast dummy……it didn’t use those words and i did kind of ignore it completing the first mile in 6:35. I then eased off and found myself along side two chatting runners talking about the various marathons they had done and with my Garmin telling me i was on pace i decided to stick with them and sure enough i passed miles 2 and 3 exactly on 6:50 they were great pace makers. But sadly we were then joined by two other runners, which caused one of my adopted pace makers to push on ahead. I was then left having to try and pace a speed i had never tried out before by myself. Note always try out your marathon pace in training!!!!!!
Any way what followed was a load of miles that were either below or above the 6:50 target, as i caught up to the one that pushed on and occasionally eased off. A pattern that lasted for a few miles before i latched on to the woman, who according to the marshals was the second placed female, so i figured id pace her for a while. But after just two miles she eased off and i was running alone, this took me to around the 13 mile point, where i was joined by another runner who seemed to be pacing me, every now and then trying to get a few yards on me, for to me to then pull him back in. It was good to have the company but i was recording a lot of miles over the 6:50 target which was worrying.
At mile 15 i pushed on a little recording an average pace of 6:38. I completed mile 16 in 6:55, yet recorded a high pace of 5:15 – im not sure when – but i lost my shadow with gave me a confidence boost. I continued to push but my pace must of been all over the show with mile 17 covered in 6:50 with a high of 5:12 and mile 18 covered in 6:52 with a high of 5:53. I suspect with the 5:15 and 5:12 paces i had made great use of the down hill sections.
I then reached mile 19 and feeling good and feeling strong, i kept pushing passed a number of runners and seeing several runners ahead of me were in reach. So i again moved up another gear, covering the final mile of the race in 6:33 my fastest mile of the whole race and securing myself a 44th place finish with an average pace of 6:51.
The 6:50 plan , had kind of worked although clearly i need to practice this pace more often. Despite my injury issues, i finished this race feeling strong, it was a PB but i have only ever used this race for marathon practice, so im not sure it really counts. But it is interesting, if i can finish a 20 mile race with a 6:33 final mile, is 6:50 too slow of a pace plan for the marathon, but then if i run 6:50 for 20 miles, i could cover the final six miles of the marathon at quite a fast pace perhaps……. hmmm plans are formulating!!
Trimpell 20 in numbers
My time 2:16:58 – A PB of around 10 minutes – Splits first ten 1:08:04 , second ten 1:08:56 – both times faster than my 10 mile PB ( I need to run a 10 mile race at some point!!)
Total finishers : 530 – 61% (321) males / 39% (20) females
Winning time : 01:53:49 Male / 02:10:40 female
Average time : 02:54:28 Male / 02:57:16 female
Last place : 04:14:48 Male / 04:48:00 female
Pace wise just 9% of runners compelted this race with an average pace fast enough to dip under 3 hours. How many of those 9% could of run another 6.2 miles at that pace i dont know, after all many could of been like me and simply practicing their marathon pace, but no doubt some would of been racing the 20 miles. This again highlights the challenge of the sub3 marathon.
Runners world review page : Trimpell 20 Event rating
My splits (Ignore the final time and this distance covered, this was a a 20 miles and i didnt stop my watch stright way nor did i start at the front…..so that does slightly affect things)