When you line up for the Littledown Marathon, you know you’re in for a testing day out. The premise of the race is simple enough though. You just follow the marked out mile circuit, all the way round the field by the Littledown Centre. The catch is, you’ve got to do with 26 times!!
That was the task ahead of Stu Glenister when he decided on the spur of the moment that he’d give it a go. Why wouldn’t you, right? It sounds like fun.
He hadn’t really done any specific marathon training for it as such, but he had been through a period where he’d completed six half marathons of five weeks so he certainly had some fitness in the bank from that.
The problem was that he was still feeling some fatigue in the legs from those exploits which would mean that as the race progressed, he would be in for a challenge in order to hold his pace.
Bournemouth AC team captain Rich Nelson was in the vicinity and he was on hand to run alongside Stu for some of it and give him some much needed encouragement.
The course at Littledown is actually predominantly flat but because it’s all on grass and the surface is a little uneven in places, it’s not actually a particularly fast one. Especially since you have the mental battle of knowing you have to go round so many times.
Stu actually handled the rigours of the race remarkably well and, although he slowed down as the race progressed, he showed great determination and resilience to complete the entire 26.2 laps.
Crossing the line in a time of 3 hours 36 minutes and 11 seconds, Stu finished up in 9th place out of 56 runners, which was a superb achievement, all things considered.
No one managed to get close to the time of 2 hours 55 minutes that Stu Nicholas set when he won the race back in 2017. This time round it was Michael Tune of Swindon who took out the win, completing the course in a time of 3:06:35.
That gave him a wining margin of 3 minutes 41 seconds over his nearest rival, John Llewellyn of New Forest Runners who was 2nd in 3:10:16. He was followed closely by Alan Morris who was 3rd in a time of 3:10:27.
Stu Glenister’s performance netted him 1st place in the M40 category, so that was a nice bonus for him and must have gone some way toward making the monotony of running all those laps worthwhile.
In the women’s race it was Juliana Jones of Zoom Triathlon Club who nailed the victory, with a finishing time of 3:45:04. That give her 13th place overall, with Heather Khoshnevis of Littledown Harriers the next person in to seal the position of 2nd female. She crossed the line in 3:49:37.
Stu has been resting up since his marathon exertions and is now easing himself back into training. No doubt it won’t be long before he’s back in the cut and thrusts of racing action again though.