Running race 4:00:41  42.2 km (5:42 / km) +1933m 4:38 / km
shoes: Nike lunar racer
Jungfrau Marathon, this year the men's and women's races were run on separate days with 3000+ starters this morning in the M20-45 categories as well as the world long distance championships. The start was a very un-mountain running 9am from the middle of Interlaken, with a lap of the town followed by a loop out to Bonigen before the relatively gentle climb to Lauterbrunnen followed by the real climbing to Wengen and Kleine Scheidegg. I decided to use the lunar racers as it was pretty dry after a few hot days, so thought they'd be good on the road sections and OK on the off road.
Got to the start with plenty of time to spare and went into the sub 4h10 section. I was perhaps a bit too far back as there was a bit of traffic for the first km, but then tried to get a 4 min km pace going. Went through 10km in exactly 40 mins and took a gel. I felt comfortable here and on the next 10km up to lauterbrunnen. There are a few climbs here so was expecting to drop the pace a bit, it was good knowing this section well as I could tick off the landmarks along the way and it didn't seen too long before I was climbing up to the main street of lautebrunnen. I got a big cheer from stuey and lou who had a massive aussie flag with them, then ran the gauntlet of cowbells and bands up the main street. Another gel at 20km then went through the half in a touch under 89, which I thought was about to plan. On the next flat 5km I started to feel the start of some cramping in my calves, which was worryingly early in the race. Then it was onto the first big climb which goes for about 2km before it slackens off. I tried to grind my way up it, but ended up walking some bits of it where running wasn't making any more progress than the people walking around me. The km markers start coming every 0.25 km here which emphasises the slow progress. By the top of the steep section my legs were feeling quite a bit worse, so I tried to find a steady pace and started using the sports drink as well as the water on the drinks station. It was also out in the full sun which was also energy sapping. Wengen was packed with spectators like a mountain stage on the tour. I was planning another gel here, but missed getting one out before the drinks so waited for the next one. There's another bit of climb out of wengen, which I thought I should have run all of, but like a lot of people I ended up walking on the steeper bits. Up the top of this section was the first full view of the Jungfrau itself and it was out into the sun. At about 35kms I was really starting to feel cramp in my calves so took a couple of salt tablets, not sure if these really had a lot of effect, also started mixing in coke at the drink stations. I managed to keep running through to the wixi lift and then it was onto the last couple of climb sections. I ran a lot less of this than I had in training last week, but reckon it was a lot hotter. I was trying to work out if 4 hours was possible round here, but wasn't too sure. Most of the runners around seemed to be struggling in the heat too here, the relief from each drink station was pretty brief. Eventually got onto the moraine which is about 40.5 km and could see the top of the climb. Staggered to the top then tried running the next little downhill, it was painful at first but my legs loosened up a bit and I even overtook someone on the little climb that followed. I saw there was about 6 mins for the last 1.2km so went as fast as I could from here, there was another small climb up to fallboden which slowed things down again. Passed stu and lou again who'd moved their flag up the mountain. Could see that the 4 hours had just ticked over, but was still 10 mins under my time from a couple of years ago so was happy with the run - I was completely spent at the end. Although I walked a lot more this time, it probably helped when it came to the sections where I could run; I was about 5 min quicker over the last timed section and faster over the other parts of the course as well. I also wouldn't have been last in the world championships:)
Got a bottle of sports drink at the finish line, then next to that was a RugenBrau stand, so had a finishing beer as well. Chatted to Mel for a bit before heading for the train, compression tights and lots of liquids. Warm down was walking to the train. I think the lunar racers have run their last race, the grippy bits on the soles are wearing out and they've done 2 maras and 3 halfs. They've done a few pbs so it fees like sacrilege to bin them.