Great Langdale Marathon 2014



Now just because the first part of the name is ďGreatĒ donít be put off.Itís a traditional race day with a childrenís fun run, half over 26 miles on mainly tarmac. Itís therefore no relation to any of the other ďGreatĒ series of runs/races.

The marathon is unusual in that itís on a Saturday and starts at 12 pm, together with the half marathon.The full marathon is two laps and the half is a single lap.Both start and finish near Ambleside, Cumbria.

Starting later, is good for travelling as itís about a two and a half hours drive from here but numbers are posted out in advance to you. Thatís saves a bit of time when you arrive.

The weather on the day (20th September) was warm and sunny, with very little breeze, certainly vest weather.I have to admit to feeling dehydrated for a fair way even though there were water stops every three Ė four miles.

The majority of the marathon (and half) is on tarmac, with about four miles on dusty but firm gravel paths in total for us.As Iím going to be testing out new shoes for work, I just used my normal training shoes of late which are the Glycerin 11 by Brooks.Certainly more than ok on a non PB course.Over the years very few winners get under three hours, the same for this year as Steven Prentice from NEMC came in first for the second time in this race, Steven was a bit disappointed with his 3:06, but as he was five minutes in front of the second placed runner it didnít really matter.His normal marathon flat time is about 2:45, so as it says on the tin, ďit aint flatĒ.

Itís quite hard running with those doing the half marathon and not getting dragged along with them is tricky, but there are plenty of hills to remind you.Having done this one before, it reminds me of the Buttermere Round; where a bit of tactical walking never goes wrong.On the first lap you run straight into the most ďSutton BankĒ of all the bloomin hills after about a mile.(For those not of my generation, Sutton Bank is a hill where whilst going on your holidays in the car once you got to the top, stopped and opened the car bonnet to allow the engine to cool off!!!).After that itís up and down like a roller coaster.Then at half way you do it all again!

Itís not a big marathon at all, you get over one hundred but less than two hundred normally, this year was no different.The half attracts a bit under three hundred runners.We were all cheered in by Barry Young from North Shields, who was watching out for David Gilmore of North Shields.David had finished the half a couple of minutes before I started my second lap in the full.

I helped around a young gentleman from Texas USA, in his first marathon, nice lad, may see him running Las Vegas soon!.

As I mentioned before, a strangely warm day where you should have had extra water/hydrate with you.Cups with water only were ok, but only just.At the end you get your medal and paper weight (in the shape of a running shoe).There is a fairly extensive prize list (Steven the winner, got a holiday voucher in the lakes).

There are plenty of marshals, most of which are enthusiastic; the odd place where there wasnít one was well signed and quite easy to follow.I had a long spell running by myself, but you just need to keep going.Normally I catch a few up on the second lap, which I did.Thatís always a bit odd as I normally have a much better first half than the second, just means that my second half is not as bad as others I guess.

At the end I drank some ones lucozade sport, a bottle of water and a mix of High 5 and SOS hydration drinks.Then later it was a full fat coke.I still struggled to rehydrate!

All in all if you like your races not flat, but great scenery; it is a lovely course really! Itís a good one.No doubt Ill do it again.