Last Sunday, I ran the Cambridge Boundary Run, a marathon in the countryside around Cambridge. A half-marathon option was available, run at the same time but stopping half-way and draining 3/4 of the 400 runners. This option was chosen by 8 mates from Imperial, including the crazy friend who "pushed" me out of plane a few weeks ago :) .

The weather was gorgeous, blue sky and sun all the way, but the ground was nevertheless muddy, especially in the shaded areas. The route offers a variety of sceneries and surfaces, as it follows roads, dirt tracks, and narrow single tracks. The section along the river Cam was particularly beautiful. A lovely day out!

The day before the race, I drank a tablespoon of olive oil - a ritual successfully introduced at Le Cannet the evening before the Nice-Cannes marathon. However, it didn't have the same effect this time. As the Hardmoors 55 were coming only two weeks later, I had planned to take it easy during the marathon (with a 3:45 to 4:00 schedule). According to the official results, I finished in 03:56:11, 37th out of 108 finishers (winner's time: 03:04:12). My splits are roughly 01:53:00 and 02:03:00. So I'm OK with my time despite the significant decrease in pace, but I'm a bit worried because I had a tough time. At this pace I should be feeling easy. The first half was all right but not amazing. During the second half, I felt a lack of power and a general feeling of discomfort in the joins. Only the mental side held it all together. That makes me wonder a little bit on my current fitness level and my participation at the Hardmoors 55.

The marathon was generally well organised, with two course maps provided (a pocket-size one and a A3-size one that I took with me as the street names were readable), a decent marking on the ground and 5 water+food stations. All of that plus T-shirt for £7 is a bargain! Towards the end though, I took the wrong direction once and a group of runners in my back followed the correct route, leaving me slightly behind. A bit later, in the last kilometre, as they were hesitating ahead, they took the decision to turn left intuitively, despite my suggestion that the map seemed to say otherwise. They obviously didn't believe me, as I had got a bit lost 5 minutes earlier :) . I decided to follow my opinion rather than the "crowd", and was proved right very quickly. I'm not sure what happened to them, they might still be running :) . Glad I took the bigger map.

The blister I got a week before the event due to using new shoes for the first time on a long run seemed healed, so I decided to run with the same shoes (XA Pro 3D Ultra) on the marathon. Big mistake! After only a few kilometres I could feel the blister tickling despite the preventive Compeed (I know, I always says wearing Compeed preventively is for sissies...). And it only went increasingly worse all the way. I guess the pain forced me to supinate excessively, pushing the feet sideways in the shoes. I finished the marathon with a nice 7x5cm blister under the arch, ie. just a bit smaller than a credit card. No Compeeds are large enough for that!

blister under the arch

Ultra cheap marathon