The 2018 Loch Ness Marathon
On Sunday 23 September at 6.45am, with the temperature down to 6 degrees, both Martin Truman and wife Kate were queing up with 2,910 other runners ready to board the coaches to take them to the start line of the Loch Ness Marathon for 10am. There were many nervous glances on the coach as they were driven west, along the 23 mile northern shore of Loch Ness, the competitors eyed the route back on the opposite southern shore with the anticipation of what was to come. The start line was quite high up above the Loch and could easily have been in the middle of Dartmoor. The road shut to traffic and a Scottish pipe band lead the way up for a long wait at the start line for all to assemble.
This Loch Ness Marathon quest all started in December 2017 with a message from Kate saying, “Happy Birthday Martin, think you need to lose a bit of weight! Your present is an entry to the Loch Ness Marathon in September. To sweeten the pain I’ve booked us both a long weekend in Inverness in a lovely hotel near the start, flights from Bristol included in your gift” She then announced that she had entered herself too. Training began and the discovery of all the green lanes, bridleways and paths of the Sid Valley and East Devon were made. The dog got double doses of long runs with each of them on consecutive days at the weekends.
East of Inverness by 26 miles is exactly where the novice Nessie first time marathon runner comes unstuck. Martin’s Loch Ness story was written in these first few miles. Traversing downhill for a couple of miles down to the shore of the Loch, then cruising on comfortably along the route is not necessarily a good idea. He knew he had not heeded the take your foot off the pedal from the start. When Martin reached the half way point, he realised he was on a PB time of just under 1 and 3/4 hours. At this point he was still feeling ok and beginning to think he could really do it in 4 hours. Then, two heavy rain showers and a two mile hill climb at the 19 mile mark, the nagging doubts were starting to creep in! With his pace dropping off and a hamstring cramp kicking in, Martin hobbled on, but he could swear someone was pulling him back, like a tug of war but with him on the wrong end of a rope! Martin kept going, despite the pain he sprinted to the finish line, almost beating the 4 hour target. He crossed the line just 14 seconds over four hours. Martins final position was a top third in the field of 893th.
Kate on the other hand, being the more sensible family member, ran a more measure pace in her maiden marathon, running home in 5.05 to great cheers and with much pride. She was in far better shape than her husband at the finish line and raised £730 for Prostate Cancer research.