Cayman Marathon 2011 – Predictions

The last real training run is out of the way, all that is left now is a quick warm up on Saturday to make sure everything works and lots of pasta before I toe the line on Sunday morning.

I ran this race in 2007 and it wasn’t good. I was undertrained and 25lbs heavier than I am now. I had back problems from mile 14 and hobbled the last 12 to finish in 4:45. It was without a doubt the most tortuous experience of my running career.

The pain and suffering of 2007! The pain and suffering of 2007!So what do I think about the 2011 version of me’s chances?

I am notoriously bad for this, I normally err on the side of caution. This is mainly because tapering really doesn’t agree with me. Right up until I step in to the start coral I don’t feel great, generally I haven’t had great runs during tapering and the same is true of this plan too.

Really it should have been easier to predict as I run the course on all my training runs and I train at the same time of day in the same conditions as the race. I have probably run over 1000 miles on the race route this year and I know just about every little bump and pothole.

However, there are quite a few variables that come in to play. The biggest one being that this isn’t my only race of the season; I have the Goofy Challenge in 5 weeks time. This basically means I can’t do anything on Sunday that will jeopardise the runs in Disney, I have to keep in the back of my mind that this is only a training run for January.

There is also the weather, it has been cooler this week than any other time this year, but, and it’s a big but, there will be a 20mph+ wind on Sunday. As the course is circular there will be as much help as hindrance, so it may not be that big a deal, except that the last 3-4 miles will be head first into it which could be a problem.

With all that said, I have trained at 8:30-8:20 min/mile pace which gives a finish time of between 3:38-3:43. My current PB from this past January is 3:46:25, so if I hit my training pace then I am assured a PB, which I will be chuffed with.

The minimum, as always, is beating 4 hours, a new PB would be nice and if I get under 3:38 and go faster than the paces I have trained for then that is more than I could hope for.

The main thing though is to finish without any major injuries other than the usual sore bits here and there.

There are 109 people registered as of 30th November, although 75% of those are from overseas which means the number might be slightly smaller on the start line. I am number 11 which is nice (and shows how early I entered for this, although I was 7 last time).

I will attempt to track the run on my phone with RunKeeper Live, so keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter or the RunKeeper site for the updates. If that doesn’t work then there should be splits at the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 marks which will be on the marathon website, and finally the race should be off at 5AM EST which is 10AM GMT.