Last year, Red Hill Marathon was my qualifier for the Two Oceans Marathon. Luckily, I finished already 5 Two Oceans and don’t need to qualify for it any more. But to achieve a good seeding, a qualifying time is needed still. Having done Frankfurt Marathon in October, I got my seeding already.
Therefore: This marathon was really “just” a well organized training run. With some hills. 😉
My plan was to run in the range of 5:20 min/km, knowing that the hill called “Red Hill” with an elevation of some 400 m would have an impact on average speed.
I started around 5:00 – 5:10 min/km together with my good friend Andrew. After 7 km the first +/-2 km uphill section starts, and he sent me ahead.
The road continues kind of undulated up to km 19, where the road splits: To the left, further uphill, for the 36 km runners. To the right for the marathon runners, to add a 6 km loop. After the loop, the marathon runners join the folks on the 36 km route further uphill.
I felt very strong all the time. I did not go to any limit, and was able to run up to Red Hill almost completely. I opted for 2 short walking sections, which was nice to relax a bit. I still remember how hard I fought last year with lots of wind and heat.
This year the weather gods were very pleasant to us. Only a few sections with wind and not too hot.
After reaching the top of Red Hill, it’s pretty much downhill all the time. Well around km 40 there is a little up and down, which you feel after that distance.
At around km 38 or so I noticed, that I might be able to run Sub 3h 50 min. Again, the time was not important.
But there is always this psychological component as well.
So… I decided to go for it and chased a new personal best for this race.
2 km before the end I overtook another friend, who ran the 36 km race. That also pushed me forward 😉
I reached the finish in 3h 48 min and I’m very happy with this result.
I finished in 126th place out of 583 runners; 23rd in my age category.
The winning time was 2h 36.