"You're running on guts. On fumes. Your muscles twitch. You throw up. You're delirious. But you keep running because there's no way out of this hell you're in, because there's no way you're not crossing the finish line. It's a misery that non-runners don't understand" -Martine Costello

MARATHON
Just a 42.2km run.

2019 - Hanoi, Vietnam

I opted not to run the HK Marathon this year, so in order to keep the streak alive, I found this race in a city I'd never visited before. For a full write-up, check out the Marathon page, but this was a fairly small race in busy, polluted and generally chaotic Hanoi. An early 4:30am start with only about 700 running the full marathon, but the whole festival included 5, 10 and 21km, so it was quite a party atmosphere at the finish line. Pretty well organized, although some confusion on course saw some of us run and extra 1-2km, while another group ran an extra 4-5km. Worth doing once, and I'm glad I toughed it out as I wouldn't want to have another crack at this race. Time below is for 42.2km - not my best time, but for sure one of my best efforts considering the lack of training.

Time
Climate

Cooler but quite humid.

4'36'03"

Elevation

Pretty flat all the way through, no real hills to speak of.

Strava File

2018 - Hong Kong

Back to the old house! Still my local race so still feel obliged to run it. It's a ballot now, but I got in as a fast runner with my San Francisco time. No fun, same result with a vow not to run it again. Until the next time.

Time
Climate

Cool

4'16'58"

Elevation

Generally flat, gradual climbs up and and down from the bridges and tunnels.

Strava File

2017 - San Francisco

No expectations from this one as it was in the middle of a family holiday, as well as being in the middle of my first Ironman training block! I was planning a 21km run followed by a sightseeing 21km, and was even worried about a DNF. So to finish with a Marathon PB was astonishing. I even walked a few aid stations in the closing 8km, so pretty lucky to come away with the result. Easily my favourite marathon of all time, loved every minute - from running the Golden Gate bridge, through the Presido and past the Giants stadium towards the end. Loved it and this one gets a proper race report in the Marathon page.

Time
Climate

Balmy

3'49'02"

Elevation

A few steep inclines, especially one in the first 10km but nothing to knock you out of your stride.

Strava File

2017 - Hong Kong

Another crack at HK, same result. Still don't like the course, but I feel strangely obliged to run my local race. I blew up in similar style to the previous attempt and shuffled home from the tunnel onwards and although I was close to 4 hours, it felt a long way off.

Time
Climate

Cool

4'02'03"

Elevation

Generally flat, gradual climbs up and and down from the bridges and tunnels.

Strava File

2016 - Hong Kong - China Coast Marathon

With the sub-4 hours in the bag, no pressure from this one and probably a good thing considering the elevation. It's a feel-good race, small but well-organized and the views are spectacular. Just those hills! I'd done the half marathon before, but two halves don't make a full as there is one additional nasty hill for those doing the full. It's a killer and takes a lot out of you around the half-way mark. Happy with the effort and no issues with the time. Well worth doing if you're in Hong Kong and miss out on the newly introduced ballot for the main Hong Kong Marathon.

Time
Climate

Cool

4'20'15"

Elevation

Hilly!

Strava File

2015 - Macau

Another crack at sub 4 hours, but this time I made it! A short trip to Macau with my wife - on the afternoon Turbo Jet, check in to hotel around 6pm, quick dinner. Up at 4am, race at 6am but finally finished before 10am! Straight to Turbo Jet from the race, back to HK and back to work by 1pm! A lovely race - a well-organized start from Taipa stadium, over to Macau, then back and through a new tunnel to the new University in what used to be China. I held the pace well, no hiccups and came home with a smile on my face and a lump in my throat! 

Time
Climate

Cool & wet

3'53'54"

Elevation

Generally flat, gradual climbs up and and down from the bridges and tunnels.

Strava File

2015 - Hong Kong

Back on the horse for another crack at sub 4 hours, but again, not to be. My first of many Hong Kong Marathons, it's a mind-numbing course with little support for the first 38km. It's a very early start and I ran pretty well but blew up at 30km, just about where the Western Cross Harbour tunnel starts. That will become my nemesis!

Time
Climate

Cool

4'28'32"

Elevation

Generally flat, gradual climbs up and and down from the bridges and tunnels.

Strava File

2014 - Phuket, Thailand

I knew Phuket well and had done a half marathon here a few years before, so decided to give the full marathon a shot. I trained hard for this one, again with the goal of sub 4 hours. I got myself a proper training plan and stuck religiously to three runs per week, one long, one tempo and one interval. I was up to 32km for my long runs and felt great going into the race. But it fell apart as I lost one water bottle early, fell in with a fast group and went out way too fast for the first 21km. I blew up after 24km and it was a very long shuffle home. It's an early start around 5am, thus no support on the roads. But well organized and as with all Phuket events, a great community spirit. Worth doing once.

Time
Climate

Steamy!

4'37'20"

Elevation

Generally flat, no hills but some gradual slopes.

Strava File

n/a

2013 - Tokyo, Japan

I got lucky again with the ballot, so headed back to Tokyo with a new goal of sub 4 hours. I ran well and but without GPS back then, I couldn't really track pace well and ran out of steam with the climbs towards the end. Same great organization and same great crowds! 

Two lucky ballot years in a row and I've missed out every year since then!

Time
Climate

As low as 2 degrees

4'00'57"

Elevation

As above, same course.

Strava File

n/a

2012 - Tokyo, Japan

My first marathon, so it was all about finishing with no real time goals. Training was haphazard, with a 21km treadmill run the longest of my long runs. A few days in Tokyo before the race, so pretty well-rested and the 9:00am start time makes a big difference to poor pre-race sleepers like myself. Outstanding organization from the expo to the race, cool climate, flat city course, and amazing support from start to finish. I ran with two other first-timers and we all went our separate ways before re-forming and crossing the finish line together. Definitely one to do if you can get lucky with the ballot - just keep trying!

Time
Climate

Cool

4'28'51"

Elevation

Generally flat through the city, some gradual climbs on the bridges.

Strava File

n/a

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

© 2019 by Giles Leonard. Proudly created with Wix.com