I am looking forward to tomorrow's Kielder Marathon with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. A trail marathon around the largest man-made lake in northern Europe is probably the most challenging race I have ever attempted. I ran 2.54 at London Marathon in April but there will be a world of difference between that race and tomorrow's. There will be no crowds 6 deep in places to urge the runners along over the last 6 miles and the course is bound to be more exposed to the elements than the streets of London.
It is rumoured that Steve Cram will be competing having just returned from the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
I won't be bettering my London time on this course and so my plan will be to run very comfortably for the first half of the race to get the measure of the course and conditions and then try and run a negative split by pushing on in the second half if I feel I can do it. This is the opposite of my normal London tactics. I will be happy with a time of around 3.15 tomorrow but I have no idea whether this is realistic for the course so I might have to adjust my targets as I go along. I have run London Marathon 18 times but I may just learn something new about marathon running tomorrow.
If I survive I will post a race report tomorrow evening.
Results should appear here after the race