The Aarhus Night Marathon is held next to the harbor, which is about 5K from my place. So around 23:30 yesterday (saturday), I took my bike and rode over to the harbor. Picked my number, checked my things out (gels, number etc) and then headed to the starting line, where the gun went off at 1am.
The race was held on 5,28 km loop, so marathon runners had to complete 8 loops.
I started out a bit fast (I really felt great) and placed myself relatively close to the front. I slowed a bit down, so first 5-6 runners created a gap. I just expected they are running a half marathon and if not, then the marathon is usually long enough to catch them back on later.
Even though I have run the Aarhus Nat Marathon before, I didnt know the terrain very well, because they made some changes beforehand- stairs, concrete, gravel road et cetera. Furthermore when running in the dark it's hard to to pay attention to what is around you ...and timing- racing at 3am doesnt make it any easier. Anyway, after running alone first 10K I made some faster moves to catch 2 guys and left them behind. As I hit 11km, I realized that 2 guys are not far ahead, so I did my best and joined them at 15km. I ended up running with them ca 2 loops to keep company. I tried several times to run harder. I couldnt keep this pace up for long, but I knew how hard it mentally was for them. So I accelerated, created a gap, then slowed down and demonstrated how great I feel, even though I was struggling ...honestly. Other bodies might be stronger, but I would use my mind! I had a chance and I took it! After that one of them slowed down a bit and another guy kept my company until he suddenly hit the wall ...and drove to the garage- DNF. Since then (The last 2 and half loops) I was alone and ran hard in order to increase the gap. Actualy I passed by the leader without mentioning it- it was dark outside, you know! I had a quite a bit discomfort in the legs during last 2 loops,but I just had kept on going... I crossed the finish line at 3:05:57 ...ca 2 minutes ahead of second place. During the race I was taking a cup of water or sport drink in every 2,5K and a gel at 10, 21 and 31 kilometer. I was right in nutrition!
Additional information/Statistic (from my sport watch):
Distance: 43,2 km (Marathon is 42,2 ...isn't?)
Avg heart rate: 174 bpm
Max heart rate: 183 bpm
Avg speed: 14km/h
Calories: 3244 kcal
Recovery time: 120 hours (Ohh God)
Had a great post-race brunch with other runners, even though I didnt eat anything (after all-out performance, some candies and liquid are all I can handle).
Black toenails and chafing are just parts of marathon.