Having already completed 39 marathons in his illustrious running career thus far, Stuart Nicholas was hungry for more, this time turning his attentions to the Phoenix Running ‘Jaw Dropper’ Marathon.
The Jaw Dropper is billed as an event with real ‘BITE’ and features a very exclusive medal the depicts the jaws of an open-mouthed shark, even containing a hinge to make the jaws open and shut.
Of course, to get the medal though, competitors have to complete the 8 off-road, out and back style laps along a towpath next to the River Thames. This was made harder by the fact that around half of the course on each lap had the participants ankle deep in mud.
After his last experience of wading through treacle like mud at the Dark Star River Marathon, he could easily have been put off attempting another waterside sludge-fest, but that wasn’t the case. In fact, Stu couldn’t wait to sink his teeth into this next challenge.
Conditions were great on the day and soon after the race got underway, Stu went on the attack. Manoeuvring into an early lead, he began to open up a gap on his nearest rivals. As his opponents began to tire, Stu stayed strong and, once he could smell blood, that was it. Like a true predator, he went in for the kill.
All was going swimmingly for Stu up until around mile 20. At that point, he was on for gobsmacking time of around 2:53, but his legs then began to tire.
For some people, the element of doubt might have crept in at that point and they might have started wondering if they’d bitten off more than they can chew. Stu showed resilience though and managed to power on, maintaining his advantage of around 5 minutes over his nearest rival.
Although he wasn’t quite as sharp during the closing stages of the race, Stu still managed to reach the line in a sub 3 hour time, which was mightily impressive on such a choppy course.
His official finishing time was 2:58:12, which was an extremely ferocious effort. Martyn Millard took 2nd place in a time of 3:03:30, giving Stu a winning margin of 5 minutes and 18 seconds. Ben Steel was 3rd in a time of 3:18:18.
The first lady over the line was Dianne Abraham, who came in in 3:57:30, putting her 15th overall. A total of 70 people finished the race. Stu’s average pace for his run was an incredible 6 minutes 48 seconds per mile.
So with marathon number 40 safely in the bag and another winner’s trophy netted, Stu will no doubt be embarking upon his next marathon journey imminently as he continues in his quest to reach the magic 50 by the turn of the year.