Cambridge Boundary Run II

Cambridge Boundary Run II (Marathon)

The Cambridge Boundary Run is a marathon (~26.2 miles) race that runs around the boundaries of Cambridge. This will be the second year that I have attempted the run. Last year I completed it in the somewhat respectable time of 3:48:35. I think that I trained a bit more seriously for it last year, so this year my aim is to more or less survive. It’s weird thinking of a marathon as a training run, but I have the forever delayed March March March to run, a repeat of that 50-mile race to complete in May, and for some unknown reason I have decided to attempt a 90+ mile race with no finish line in November… eeek. Still, first I have to survive a marathon… again.

Race Report:

Well that was surprisingly good fun. First of all I survived and avoided injury. Given that my six runs in the month leading up to the race were distances of 15km, 32km, 5km, 15km, 26km and 5km, and that I have generally procrastinated over training, I am glad to have made it around okay.

I got up at 7.30 in the morning to walk the 2.5 miles to the start line. I was there by 8.30 am which turned out to be just enough time to collect my number (732) and to faff around a bit. Lindsay and I both felt a bit crappy, so decided to take it easy a bit and run together for the first part. I also met Julia in a pink tutu, who had commented on this blog a couple of days before. She was content to let us disappear off into the distance, but you can read about her own crazy marathon challenges on her website. She’d blitz the run in the end and finish with a time of 4:06:00.

Lindsay and I set off quite quickly, we were near-ish the front, so we didn’t get held up during the narrow bits at the start. Once we hit the first main road I realised that there were still loads of people ahead of us. I hoped that lots of them were doing the half-marathon, otherwise we weren’t traveling as quickly as I felt we were.

The first water stop came and went, so did the second – jelly babies and jaffa cakes are always welcome on a run. From water station two through to winding around to Coldhams Common to finish up the half marathon seemed to take an age. I’d bonked a little bit for about thirty seconds; I stopped paying attention and my head swam away as I ran past the 18km mark. Lindsay and I ended up passing halfway after running for 1 hour 45 minutes and 57 seconds-ish.

The next bit across to Fen Ditton went quickly, and I enjoyed the bits that were slightly off road. As with last year, Lindsay seemed to always have the edge on me when road running, but I could scoot off ahead when things got muddy. I credit growing up in North Wales with my ability to run through shit.

I had a brief rest and a gossip with Joan at water station 4, she had saved some jelly babies for me, so that was a win. She’d also not expected me to arrive that quickly and confirmed that we were on track to come in under 4 hours, which gave me a boost for the next kilometre.

The wind started picking up as we encountered King Hedges Road, and it was around here that we came across a girl who we’d over take and be overtaken by again and again for the rest of the race. By the time we reached the fields and the “hill” by the American Cemetery, the wind was in the perfectly wrong direction. It was hard work running upwards and into the wind, but once that bit of the run was done and knowing it’s all downhill, that last bit becomes easy. By the time we’d passed through Coton and gone over the motorway bridge I was buzzing.

Lindsay and I crossed the finish line together in a not unreasonable time of 3:42.25. It was great fun, and this year we had a couple of people at the finish line to cheer us over. Next on the list – the forever delayed March March March.

Wasting energy in the middle of a marathon, but we were very much enjoying ourselves. I also like to think the girl on the far left is running the marathon backwards… now that’s a stupid idea

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  1. Hey Phill! Found your website when googling the race this weekend – your report on last year was really helpful. I completed the half this year and am now back to do the full as part of my own crazy/stupid challenge (26.2 marathons by 26.2). Come and find me on Sunday, I’ll be the one wearing a pink tutu! Cheers, Julia

    1. Hi Julia, thanks for leaving a comment :). That’s a wonderful challenge (although sadly I am too old to take part in it!). Good luck on Sunday, I’ll be the beard with a bald idiot hanging off it :D.

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