The weather forecast had tough news for us: Expected temperature around 38°C (100 F)
My plan was to aim for a 3:35 – 3:39 Marathon finish at the Peninsula Marathon. But with this outlook, I changed my plan. It’s not worth risking your health in those conditions.
The new plan: Aim for a 5:10 – 5:20 min/km pace until the sun would come up and the heat would set in. With a starting time at 5:15 in the morning, we had at least one hour before sunrise. And after that, just slow down a bit to adjust to the heat.
How did it go?
Better than expected. Much better.
Usually I am terrible at running in heat. But I seem to have adjusted a bit, or I am more fit than in the past.
At 5:15 in the morning we had 27°C (80 F) already at the start. Funny enough, I was able to run extremely consistent in the range of 4:58 – 5:15 for the first 2.5 hours!
Even when the sun came up, the heat did not hit us as bad as expected. Lucky us!
A bigger challenge was the wind every now and then. I tried to hide behind bigger runners and use them as windbreakers. It was remarkable how much energy this saved! The wind was a treat as well, helping us to cool down a little bit.
After 33 km the wind and the heat made it a bit harder to run and I stopped at a few waterpoints for a little treat: I took some ice (used to cool the water sachets) from the tables and applied them to my neck and legs. This costs me maybe 1-2 minutes in total, but it felt very good.
Eventually I realized, that I would have a chance to finish in 3h39 min, but from km 36 – 39 I really had a hard time. My pace went down to 6 min/km and I lost this opportunity.
At km 39 a few running buddies from my club AAC caught up with me and I joined them.
This did help a lot in keeping me going. Some conversation and the company of strong runners keep away the nagging voice in your mind telling you, that you don’t need to run faster 😉
If you look at the pace chart you can see, that I was able to run a 5:09 – 5:15 pace at the last 3 km again. (The arrow shows where I met the running buddies).
I am happy with the result and more than amazed that I was able to run that fast in this heat.
You could say, that I would have been able to finish in 3:35 – 3:37 despite the heat. With some more perseverance in the end, I would have been able to save at least 3 minutes. Yes, that is right. At Two Oceans and Comrades I definitely will…
At the finish it was again around 27°C, not as bad as expected, but still too hot for a perfect run.
I finished at place 246 out of some 2,100 runners. That’s ok.
|Distance||42.2 km / 26.2 mi|
|Time||3 h 41 min|
|Monthly distance (February)||184.4 km / 114.6 mi|
|Total distance in 2014||528.6 km / 328.5 mi|