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Swift Start to 2016

This was Phil's first distance race of 2016 and the third year he has run Folkestone 15 and, being one of the few hilly places local to him, he's done a lot of his training in the area, so it's a course he knows well and it's a good indicator of where you are at in your Spring Marathon preparation...

 
This very popular race was, as always, sold out, with people coming from far and wide and the field included the course record holder and England International Marathon runner, Aaron Scott, and the Cambs Road League Champion from 2015, Steve Robinson. 
 
From the start of the race I went out with the lead group which, as predicted, included Aaron, Steve and James Mogridge. The first mile is a steady downhill before reaching the first of 3 hills on the 2 lap course and, by the time we had started the first climb, the 4 of us in the lead group had already opened up a sizeable lead on the rest of the field. The group stayed together but, as we hit the 2nd hill I let the others pull away, as the pace was creeping up and my aim was to try and run at marathon pace for the entirety of the race. This meant I would have a lonely race, but I wanted to stick to my plan as my focus at the moment is to peak in time for the London Marathon and the European Masters Half Marathon. 
 
I felt strong and comfortable throughout the whole race and maintained a fairly even pace averaging 5:49 for the race and, with 3 miles to go, I caught sight of James in 3rd place. I was slowly reeling him in and I could tell as we hit the last hill that he was struggling, as he kept looking behind to see where I was. Unfortunately, I ran out of road and he managed to hold off my late burst to keep 3rd place, but I was happy with my position, 4th place overall in 1:27:19 and a 17 minute improvement on last year's time when I had used the race as part of Ultra Marathon training schedule. 
 
 
As I awaited the awards ceremony to receive the crystal beer tankard for finishing 4th, I aided my recovery with a very welcome Cookies and Cream TORQ Recovery Drink.
 
I awoke the next day to an email saying I had been selected to run for the county, for the first time, at the upcoming inter counties 20 mile race, which was one of my goals for the year, so nice to have ticked it off so early in the season. 
 
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