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Portsmouth Coastal Marathon – Alison Jones reports


I decided to enter this marathon rather than run over 20 miles on my own, another added bonus was that it was multi-terrain, which suited my training requirements and would allow me to try drinking on the go in preparation for 2 Ultra’s I have signed up for in 2018 (what was I thinking).

Portsmouth Coastal Marathon medal

I stayed with my sister in Emsworth so it was an easy journey to the start, in the dark and the frost and I managed to get parked right outside the Pyramid Centre, so I thought this might be a good omen for things to come.

The marathon started at 08.30 and it was at least light enough to see the frost on the paving stones along the sea front, so much for drinking whilst running, my Gin & Tonic never even made it over the first timing mat!

This was a marathon of firsts for me and the first, first was a queue, I have been in bottlenecks before but never an orderly queue, but then we are British and love any excuse to queue, this was to get down onto the beach I just hoped I could get back before the tide came in, or I would be swimming.

This was indeed multi-terrain, we encountered paving stones you could skate on, shingle, rocks, woods, pine needles, sand, concrete, tarmac and steps, not to mention mud and grass which could have given the paving stones a run for their money, but it certainly made it an interesting run and much more fun that going out alone.

I managed to slither and slip found the first ½ in 2.15 although the mile markers were way out so who really knows, this is the first time I looked at my watch I was really there to take my time and just get round using different fuelling and keeping a steady pace.

This was an out and back run, so we headed back along the even more churned up muddy paths and then about 4 miles out, the rain came on, which would affect the runners coming behind more so not a big problem.

I managed to get back before the tide came in and this time there was no queue, so onward to the finish and even the rain stopped, although the sky was still the colour of a bruise, only the skating rink to tackle, which was fine since the temperature has risen sufficiently to melt the ice, did I say the rain had stopped, sorry, my mistake, it would seem that God was just reloading!

So a very wet run to the finish and I felt really good, I managed a negative split finishing the 2nd ½ in 2.09 but more importantly I felt really good and could have continued running, which is what I really set out to achieve.




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