On Sunday, I travelled to Cambridge for my second participation in the Cambridge Boundary Run.

The race presents a variety of underfoot conditions, from road, to gravel, to grass, ... to mud. Indeed, the weather was not with us this time. Since the forecast was rainy for the entire day, I decided to wear a long sleeve T-shirt and a running jacket. The race started with a light but steady rain, which would have been manageable in T-shirt. Thus my jacket was a bit on the way: too hot when closed, and catching the wind when opened. After about 16km I already started to feel a bit weak and wondered how I would manage the remaining 26km... This combined with seeing the half-marathon runners starting to push for their finish was a bit demoralising.

But things also change for the better during a race! The rain built up to pour heavily during the second half, and with a bit of wind, I was very happy to have this jacket to keep me warm. Did this boost my spirit? Who knows... The increasing number of muddy sections was making things a bit difficult when your quads are already tight. Nevertheless, I started to feel much better at around 28km, and slowly increased pace, to finish feeling strong. One of this strange case of finding your energy battling the elements...

With 1:58 and 2:04 splits for a total time of 4:02, it's a very different race than in 2010 when I might have been a bit faster overall (3:56), but started faster to struggle on the finish (splits: 1:53 and 2:03). A bit odd to finish a relatively flat marathon in over 4 hours, but without any running for the last 2 weeks, it's probably understandable.

It was generally better organised than 2 years ago. In particular the markings were much improved. The advantage with chalk markings is that they go away with the rain. The disadvantage with chalk markings is that they go away with the rain... I still think that 4 solid food stops is a bit light for a full marathon, but I actually managed well with eating only the equivalent of 2 Mars bars during the entire run. For £8 T-shirt included, ie. a tenth of most big marathons, this race is still a bargain! Well done on the Cambridge Uni runners for organising that and standing hours in the rain pouring glasses of water.

Ultra rainy marathon