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Keszthely Marathon

Just back from my first marathon, the Keszthely Marathon. Well OK it’s not really my first marathon because I ran the Hungarian Ironman last summer, and that finishes with a marathon, but it’s the first time I’ve done the marathon only. There was a couple of times when I’ve run the distance in practise and more over the years but I’ve never actually entered the competition. When I was living in Australia I ran from Noosa Heads to Eumundi and back, which apparently is about 40Km and I seem to remember doing that in 2hrs 50 and less, but it’s a bit like flycasting without a tape measure. When I started Sexyloops I stated that you – after a lesson from me – could throw a 6wt 120ft without falsecasting, which is true, but you probably wont.

And so I have nothing I can really compare to from back then, which is a shame, because I was fit. OK there was a few short triathlons, 1.5/40/10 which I did in 2hr15 and my 10Km run time for that was 36minutes. I’ve always been a runner, back from when I was playing rugby, through those days when I was playing around with short triathlons, to now that I’m trying to make respectable Ironman times. The Ironman last summer was 13hr40, and my marathon there was 5hrs -FFS. But I was fucked. 10Km in I was fucked. In fact I if you want to know the truth I was fucked on the swim, the cycle just made it worse and then the run completely fucked me. But I’m fitter now.

So I was kind of expecting a bit more today. My first 20Km was erm, fast, I was in the top ten or so if you exclude the half marathon runners, and I was fairly motoring along, and then the heat got to me – man it was hot out there on the tarmac, I don’t know how hot but this is Hungary, not England, it was probably hotter today that it will be all summer in England. I don’t know if that will make you feel good or not. And I hit the point where I actually thought there was a possibility of collapsing, which wouldn’t be good. Other people had already collapsed around me and I don’t think from the smell of my socks.

For the next 15K I was slow and running between water stations. And then a storm came in from the Balaton and dumped heavy rain on us, which was fantastic, and my last 7K was pretty quick. Final time: 4hrs 15. Which is 45minutes too slow. In fact I’d like to be going sub-3. I’m not playing tiddlywinks and just running around the park doesn’t do it for me anymore.

But it was good. Well organised, friendly, not hardcore like the Ironman, and it was great to get out and run a serious distance. I’ll learn from this, get fitter and start nailing it.

Fishing the Drava tomorrow. That should be fun too.

Cheers, Paul

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