The Coastal Marathon 2014

[24-Aug-2014]

 

For the entry of £ 13 I paid you get:

 

T shirt of the event (a running technical one), medal of the event, 6 Water / Juice / Sweet stations.More Water / Juice / Biscuits at the finish as well as a sports massage if you wanted it. (I did!!!).

 

So why is it about £ 40 less than other events and £ 100 s less than other long distance events? Well its organised by The North East Marathon Club.Who since being formed in 2010 have put this race firmly into the Summer Calendar. The club stands for low cost, low frills and local marathons (as well as half marathons at times).Certainly excellent value for money.

This one is (in my opinion) more scenic than many, including Kielder and the Coastal Half marathon.Although the direction on the way back is similar to the half marathon, as itís off road, it actually hugs the coast a lot more.

Once again the stunning weather was there on the day.Great though, as it was not as warm as previous years. But certainly vest weather.

Itís a tough course, not particularly hilly, just off road, sandy and lumpy.I can do Kielder marathon a good half an hour quicker than this one.

 

Overall you get half a mile of tarmac (Craster), about 8 miles of beach which in the main is quite firm apart from the start / finish area, about half a mile of the beaches rocks to walk and jump around/over.The rest is on dunes paths.To be honest road shoes are ok, however a trail shoe is better, I used my Brooks Cascadia s for this one, its basically a Glycerin with good grip for off road.

 

The sights include Coquet Island in the distance, Dunstanburgh Castle (up close) and about 26 miles of the stunning Northumberland coast.

There were plenty of marshals, first aid responders, timekeepers, sweeper runners at the back and water stations to keep us all safe, watered and correctly timed over the exact (as far as my garmin could tell) marathon distance.

Myself and the Knitting club plus 1 took part (Julie, Davina, Adele and Susanne).Iím sure we have all done every one now since they started?.

 

Tactics for this one are usually the same each year; take it easy because itís tough and hot! Basically treat it as a tough training Sunday run.

 

You start off on the beach at Alnmouth.George Routledge started us away and saw us in at the end. After two miles of soft then firm sand with your first set of rock running/jumping you are up the steps and onto the Northumberland Coastal path to the halfway point.Passing through and beyond Craster Harbour, Dunstanburgh Castle and the Golf Course.Then back onto the beach towards Newton Point.Once there you are back onto the coastal path itís just a short (ish) run to the half way point, where you are recorded.Apart from a small loop including another beach, you then go back with the sea now on your left towards Alnmouth the same way you came.

This year had more direction signs and tape than ever before, however I managed to (just) take a wrong turn just before the last beach. Luckily this was only for a few seconds.Funny enough in all the runs and races there I have never gone wrong at that point, it just goes to show you that you need to concentrate at all times.

The last two miles were on the beach, where at the end you see the finish area and George shouting ďthrough the line Iain, donít stop yet!Ē.

Apart from having my head just about taken off with a golf ball next to the golf course (try ďfourĒ next time please!), Susanne just about fainting then being sick, carrying on for another 10 miles then falling over cutting herself, then finishing the race in any case, nothing else happened!

 

All in all a great event once again. Thanks as well to our Dave Kitching.Dave assisted with marshalling duties on the day and was generous with his encouragement as usual.

 

Iain