The Cranleigh 21 mile race is one of the best bargains of the racing calendar. 10 pounds for 21 miles. That works out to be just under 48 pence per mile! Bargain.
I’ve run this twice before and this year the plan was once again not to race but to treat it as a good solid training run.
In 2012 the weather was beautiful - hot and sunny. This year it was 0 degrees celcius with a wind of around 15mph blowing. Oh, and some snow flurries! Certainly not shorts and vest weather. Today it was base layer, tights, running club vest, wooly hat and gloves. I was an ideal temperature throughout the run.
The original (note that I’ve said ‘original’ here!) plan was to run slower than I did at the Spitfire 20 three weeks ago. Well… it didn’t quite happen. I set off at a good pace, and kinda just kept it up throughout.
At around 9 miles (when you head onto two loops of 6 miles) I got chatting to a lovely lady from Woking. She like myself was ‘taking it easy’ (well, easier than race pace) and we had a good chat. About the usual subjects. You know. parkrun.
Towards the end I picked up the pace a little (she picked it up a little more) and ran through to finish in 2 hours 42 and 20 seconds. My average pace was 7:40 miling (according to the 21.14 miles that my GPS recorded - or 7:44 miling if I ran to the racing line) which was about the same as at the Spitfire 20. It seems like this is just my steady long run pace.
The marshals on the course were fantastic and I really enjoyed the little cups of orange squash that they were handing out (much nicer than just water).
With the London Marathon four weeks away running at this pace would get me round in around 3 hours and 20 minutes. I’m really planning on running London a little slower (so expect me to refer back to this post in a few weeks saying how it all went wrong and I ran too fast!).
The current training (including London) is just preparation for another marathon that I’m doing in May. I can guarantee that this marathon will be slower. Mainly because I’ll be doing a little swim and bike ride beforehand…