50/50 marathons

12. Portsmouth Coastal Marathon

22nd December 2019

Portsmouth Coastal Marathon

Last week’s Festive Frolic had left me somewhat broken, so the thought of another marathon a week later, running on tired legs, didn’t fill me full of joy. On the upside, I only needed to go to Portsmouth. But I had to get a 6 am ferry.

The marathon start was at the Pyramids in Southsea, last time I was there was to see Adam Ant play. This morning was quite different. Full of people in running gear and the strong smell of deep heat, mixed with a faint smell of the toilets.

There was only two cubicles in the men’s loos, and the queue was massive. On first attempt I made it to the front of the queue only to find I couldn’t go, too much pressure. There was quite a bit of time before the race started so I went outside to see if I could find more loos where the pressure was less intense. I did find a public loo, but it was locked, so I headed back. The walk had loosened things up, so I figured I’d try again, but by now the queue was seriously long.

So, after a rather long wait and another less than successful attempt (much more pressure than the first time), it was about time to hand my bag in and venture out to where the race start was. Typically there was a whole row of portaloos that weren’t being used!

But enough about toilets, the race started at 8:30, the weather was nice, a proper crisp sunny winter day. Windy, but it was behind us to begin with at least. There was a good turnout for the run, I’d guess at 1000 runners. So it was fairly congested as we headed off along Southsea sea front, but it was a jolly atmosphere. The route was pretty flat and straightforward. A simple out and back route, to Hayling Island along coastal paths. Most of the route was fairly dry, but there was a good portion of waterlogged, boggy path, making it slippery under foot. I have developed a horrible pain in my left ankle that I can only describe as feeling broken, but not all the time. However if I tread awkwardly it sends a shooting pain right up my leg. I’m then left limping along until it eases a bit.

Once we turned around to return to the finish in Southsea, the full brunt of the wind became clear and became quite draining. At mile 24 we were treated to a section of the run, across a stretch of boggy beach, as if my legs needed more draining.

The last couple of miles were the usual hell, regardless of how flat the route was, I had nothing left. The head on wind didn’t help at all, but I dare say without that, my performance would be a bit lack lustre. I fear the days of the sub 4 hour marathon are well and truly behind me.

I was I’ll again shortly after finishing. The cold seems to really get me after I finish so I’m generally a shivering mess and do tend to be physically sick!

Nevertheless, another one is ticked off and now I need to enjoy Christmas and lick my wounds until next weeks self imposed torture. I’m genuinely worried about the next one. The Abominable Snowman, with my own twist!

If you’d be interested in running the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon in the future, take a look at Believe and Achieve.

Portsmouth Coastal Marathon
Portsmouth Coastal Marathon


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I am running these marathons to raise money for Mind. If you like what I’m doing and would like to donate you can go to my Just Giving page below.