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Goodwood Running GP 20 miles 12 February 2023  

There is ample free parking in a field. Even though it hadn’t rained for a couple of weeks the grass was a bit muddy for my shoes. You have to collect your running number and chip at the event.

The Goodwood motor racing circuit is a lovely smooth tarmac surface with no noticeable camber. There are a couple of low gradient hills on the circuit. The organisation and marshals were great with plenty of encouragement all around the circuit.

Because of the lap distance, every race category has to run out and back to achieve the actual distances. We were second batch out, 70 runners doing the 20-mile distance - 8 laps of the circuit. I decided early on that runner 1510 was a good choice for a pacer, if I could keep up with her I would achieve my 3 hours 30 minutes target time.

I managed to keep up until laps 7 & 8 when my legs went. I had calf strains and sudden pain forcing me to stop (probably cramp), groin strains, a hamstring started to ache as did the tops of my thighs and the bottom of my feet were in agony too. I decided to ease up as I didn’t want an injury. My pacer finished 23 minutes before I crossed the finish line having been level with me with 2 laps to go.

Considering my target time for 20 miles was 3hrs 30mins, I am delighted with my 3hrs 10mins. I also broke a few personal bests:

Half-marathon: my first sub 2-hour half-marathon in 1hr 54mins.

(I had planned that as my target for the Fleet half marathon on 26 March.)

20km in 1hr 48min – 10miles in 1hr 27min – 15km in 1hr 21min and 10km in 53mins.

But I ran too fast too early and paid the price later on. If it had been the London Marathon I would have had to walk the last few miles!

I must learn from this and stick to my pace and perhaps do a slower first 5 miles.

The Goodwood running GP was great fun. I did find the mile markers a bit confusing as it wasn’t clear which were for what distance. Either the mile markers should be coloured to match the race number or take them down altogether as they were very confusing and off-putting. (we all have sports watches)

Another idea might be to start the 5k and 10k and half marathoners earlier than the longer distances, as it was a bit annoying and disconcerting having them "sprinting" passed me (often on both sides) like Usain Bolt from my second and third lap onwards chasing a personal best, or just showing off!  

We managed to avoid any freezing cold temperatures, apparently the event was run in snow last year! There was no sun and just a spot of manageable short-lived drizzle.

On finishing I heard the announcer say:

"and a big cheer and applause for Phil, he has just run… TWENTY MILES!"

I then received a rather nice medal to add to my growing collection!  Free photos of the event are available to download too!

 The Goodwood Running GP - 20 miles

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