Arun River Marathon 

I ran the Arun River Marathon on 14 May. I found it a slog, finishing in a personal worst marathon time * of 5h34m. Still, I finished. An absolutely beautiful route, a warm day, an interesting climb up the South Downs Way from Amberley and great to see Luke Ashton, Shawn Timmons and Paul Sahota running it and Darren Chilcott, John Fitzgerald and Steve Amiet volunteering. Great race Jason Mccardle and Chris Ette.

* This marathon was 27 miles, bonus mile and extra value for money!

Close thing – almost face planted twice in the 1st 1/2 due to tree roots and momentary lapses in concentration, somehow staying upright on both occasions

Pacing – ran to feel, ran 1st 1/2 focusing on quick cadence and form, faded in 2nd 1/2 to run/walk, more running in last 1/4 though and overtook 5 runners in the last 2 miles 

Enjoying the first half of the race [Photo credit: Jon Lavis]

Nutrition – ballsed this up, didn’t eat often enough, struggled with energy levels as a result, finally got stuck into the Percy Pigs at mile 22, 24 and 25

Hydration – warm day, drank to thirst, went okay

The wobbly bridge at Amberley [Photo credit: Luke Ashton]

Mental strength – awful middle 1/3, too much walking, regrouped in final 1/3 and focused on running to and then beyond trees, bends in the river, gates, etc.

Surviving the second half of the race [Photo credit: Jon Lavis]

Route – stunning

Heading back towards Arundel on the second half of the race

The River Arun 

The climb up Amberley Mount on the way to the half way turnaround point – with breathtaking views

The climb up Amberley Mount continues….

Heading along the South Downs Way to the turnaround point

A lovely flat run by the river until the South Downs Way ascent and descent

This is an absolutely beautiful race route. After the race I concluded that my fitness needs a lot of work if I’m to be fit for NDW100, although I was heartened  a by the fact that the final 1/3 showed I could keep running when I pushed myself and need to be more consistent with this. I need to work on mental strength in my training, as I did so well in preparing for the 2015 SDW100. Finally, my nutrition strategy needs more focus.

The following weekend I had two really strong, confidence building long runs, a hilly 17 mile run on the Saturday and a less hilly but still undulating 11 miler on the Sunday.

Am I ready for my third 100 mile race? Only time will tell but I’m more confident now than I was immediately after the Arun River Marathon. 10 weeks to go until NDW100, giving me plenty of time to train both physically and mentally to make sure I get that third buckle.

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