Fast, flat and two laps.
The route of the Wally Hayward Marathon is a two lap course through centurion. There aren’t many hills to contend with, except the one at the finish which saps the last bit of energy you have left in the tank. The marathon is huge because it is the last qualifying race for the comrades marathon. There was good support from the drinks tables with water, coke, boost bags (energade type drink), biscuits and bananas.
Do this race if you want to set a PB for a marathon. I got there early, because if you have read about my previous races I haven’t been very good at being on time. I was surprised at how much parking they had available, the map suggested taking the parking furthest away which was the biggest and the one I took. It was only a block away from the start.
I wanted to do this race to try better my seeding in the Comrades, which is currently E. Because you know any time you save in the Comrades will pay off at the end. I thought I’d take the first half easy and push during the second, however at about 8km a 4h bus came past me and I was a little taken aback by how fast they were going. It seemed to me like only 2-3 people were actually keeping up with the pace setter. But I decided to try keep up and started doing some serious splits, 5:00, 5:30. This kept going till about half way where for some reason the pacer fell away, I’m not sure what happened one minute he was there the next gone. So I tried keeping this crazy pace for a while but actually slowed because there wasn’t someone setting the pace and my legs couldn’t really handle too many sub 5:30s for 42km.
Sticking with the sub 4h goal I kept slogging on with pains creeping in all over, finally needing to walk a couple of water stations at the end and just making my goal finishing in 3h:59m. This meant running pretty fast up the final hill which is not very big but a real killer. Being right before the entrance to the finish line. Oh and regarding the 4h bus, I saw a different pacer come through with the flag just in front of me. I wonder what happened to the original guy?
Glad I did this one, however next time I shouldn’t follow someone else or peak too early in a race. Things I should know by now, ha ha. I’m quite happy with 3h:59m though. I hope it’s not above 4h officially.
Here is the route, it is not totally without hills but they aren’t too bad. GPX File