A victory that is offset by staggering losses.
Over the London Marathon weekend, I managed to pick myself up a new parkrun PB at Wormwood Scrubs. I was fortunate in the respect that conditions on the day were pretty decent. I was also in good condition as I'd been training for the following week's Greater Manchester Marathon. This was the third time I've set a parkrun PB the week before a marathon and it was the perfect confidence booster ahead of the big day.
A friend from my running club also beat his 5k PB over the same weekend.
Unfortunately, it was something of a pyrrhic PB as he was actually running the London Marathon at the time.
So, when the gun went off, so did he -- like a scalded cat. His split for the first five kilometres astonishingly turned out to be quicker than any of his previous stand-alone attempts at the 5k. All well and good, apart from the small matter that he still had over 23 miles to run.
Unsurprisingly, he paid for it later on: I'm not sure if the time he recorded was also his best for the full marathon, but it was nearly a debut appearance in the wheelchair marathon -- St John's Ambulance were apparently taking quite an interest in him during the latter stages of the race, as he told me via email:
"Paralysed with cramp 400 yards from the finish attended to by st johns ambulance - not pretty. It has to go down as a textbook 'how not to run a marathon'."
A suitably poignant conclusion to the tale is that he then had to walk home, which proved a bit of a struggle. He very graciously gave me his permission to relate the tale of his over-exuberant, unscheduled 5k PB as a warning to others. Save it for parkrun, folks.
5 tips for marathon pacing
My blog post on the Greater Manchester Marathon