On 15th September I took part in the Richmond Marathon, as part of the Richmond Runfest. It was a jam packed weekend, as the Richmond Runfest started on Saturday with the Kew Gardens 10k, followed by the Richmond Sundown 5k. I took part in both of these events, and also received the Goddess of Victory medal which was awarded to anyone who took part in two events over the weekend. You can read about day one HERE.
Although I have ran Kew Gardens 10k for the last 3 years in a row, this is the first time I’ve taken part in the whole festival and stayed on for the Richmond Marathon. I had already signed up to pace sub 4 at 9 marathons in 2019, so I took the opportunity to take on Richmond Marathon, and round it up to 10 marathons for 2019. Richmond Marathon marked my 49th marathon, and 58th event towards the 100 marathon club. It is the 22nd marathon I have paced, and the 77th event I have been an official pacer.
It was another early start, but I had stayed locally, so was just a 20 minute walk to Kew Gardens, where the event started. After meeting up with the rest of the Pacers I made my way to the start to find my group for the sub 4 #funbus. As I made my way to the wave 2 start I positioned myself where I thought my group would be, and the best way to check is to ask.
Smiles ready for the sub 4 #funbus
It was clear from the start that it would be a big group. I started to engage with everyone to put them at ease, talking about how I would pace. It’s a flat course, so I told them my aim was to run even splits from start to finish, allowing for any deviation of mile markers. We talked about everyone’s journey and goals. There were a few that were running their first marathon, and a lot of people who had been aiming for sub 4 for some time. I told them all today was the day.
Before long we were off. The first 4 miles were in Kew Gardens which is a beautiful start to a race. I felt like a resident having done a 10k, then walking around for 3 hours the day before. It was good at the start getting to talk to a few people. Jonathan started with me, but ran just ahead, he says its because he likes the space, but I try not to take it personally.
I started with a huge group and the weather was beautiful. It started off a little cool, but we knew it would be a hot one. Water and lucozade was regular throughout the course, in both cups and bottles. I must admit that my favourite miles are the ones in Kew Gardens, but the rest of the course is still beautiful. We run along the thames towpath, which is used for a fair few events, including Hampton Court, which I ran earlier this year.
The path starts off with trail, and continues with a mix of trail, gravel, and pavement. It is basically flat the entire way, except when we cross over a couple of bridges. The paths are public footpaths, so they were not closed. This didn’t cause any problems, even when we came back again with runners on either side. In typical style there were a couple of walkers who were very entitled and didn’t care that runners were on the path. But you know what, we were all ruining their normal Sunday walk, so I get it. It didn’t bother me, I’m sure some may have had clashes. Most of the way the paths were wide enough for us, there were a couple of narrow sections that held us up a little. This was so short and insignificant it didn’t impact the flow at all.
The course was accurately measured. The mile markers drifted a little at the start, so I picked up the pace to ensure I was ahead of schedule. Towards the end the markers evened out, so I eased back a little picking up more runners along the way.
I absolutely loved the event, but what’s more, I’m so happy to see many hitting their goals. Beth ran her first marathon and completed it with a sub 4, I also had a few others come and see me for a hug, and it’s always great to hear from runners after the event.
We came in in an official time of 3:59:27, and I’m really happy with the end of a great two days. The finish was seamless, however there had been an error with the tee delivery, so my choice was a women’s fit tee, or a small. I preferred the male tee, and managed to squeeze into the small (I dont know ho as I usually wear large), but frankly I will be using it for a curtain so will cut it up anyway. It would be a shame for other men.
After the event I sat down to enjoy the Richmond Runfest for a little while. Enjoying a couple of pints of London Pride using my vouchers, and enjoying the sunshine with my family. It was a great atmosphere at the finish in Old Dee Park.
A 4 medal weekend, and a great one at that. I definitely recommend this weekend.