Mark’s Blog (Rotterdam Marathon)

Last weekend I completed my second marathon in Rotterdam.

Preparation went very well and could feel that I had gained more strength this time from my ability to handle sessions and long runs at pace. I had also stayed injury free since the few hiccups after Berlin.

We felt I was capable of at least an Olympic Qualifier (sub 2.19) but on a very good day 2.16 was in me.

Conditions were good and I settled into my pace with a decent group. Gels and drinks were arranged at each 5km and that went very smoothly throughout (grabbing my drinks off the car during my progressions runs on the Blackrock loop had given me plenty of practice).

At 20km (64.25) I was a small bit off pace but I didn’t panic and stayed with the group and in a good rhythm. The next group were too far ahead to catch and I felt I could work with this current group to drive on in the latter stages.

Aerobically I felt very good and going though half way in 68.28, I was well in control but knew the race hadn’t really begun yet. The group was reduced to 4 at 30km (1.37.32).

I was feeling strong up until 38km when that familiar feeling from Berlin started to creep up on me, my legs began to tighten up. Although not as bad as Berlin and far later into this marathon, I knew the last 4km would be tough.

The pace dropped a bit and this is where those couple of minutes were lost. I kept working and with bodies falling down around me I used all my strength to keep focus on the finish.

My finish time was 2.19.52. Obviously not what I wanted but an improvement since my first one in Berlin, a far better experience and knew I could do no more on the day.

I won’t dwell on what I didn’t achieve but instead put a plan in place for the coming months of what I can achieve. Whether it is on the track or on the road I am only going to build on this.