'And how long can we keep this up' - Perri
I must admit that I lost the plot half way through yesterday's marathon at Coombe Abbey's Running Festival. It was at exactly 13.1 miles that I realised that the course would be at least 27 miles long as I hadn't completed 6 of the 12 laps and considering the warmth of the day and the spongy off-road grassed course that a second half sub 2hrs to match my first was going to be a real struggle.
It's not often I get a bit dis-hearted and don't get me wrong as the event itself was really well done, it was just too long. I know the Garmin 910xt can be a bit unreliable but mine is pretty good and I wasn't the only one to measure it at 26.99 miles.
It got me thinking about marathons and their standards and if you want superb dining you might go to a Michelin starred restaurant. If you use a takeaway in Cardiff, they all have a hygiene rating in the window and I wouldn't expect many folk eat from a 1/5 and even a 4/5 feels a but scummy. Star ratings really influence folk...
So how about the 100 Marathon Club doing something really positive and having a star rating for the BEST marathons in the UK, based on the quality of the race, measured course, insurance, first aid etc. London would be a 2 star rating as it's probably the best in the UK but Snowdon and Beachy Head would also be up there as races that the 100MC could endorse with a possible 2 star rating as they are simply iconic in the race calendar.
Ian J Berry's Kent Roadrunner would make a great 1 star, and as a private enterprise as his attention to detail and quality of the medals is something that a lot of other race directors could aspire to.
A 100 Marathon Club logo with a star on race info or websites would help promote the association and also keep the races with a star on their toes to maintain their standards. I'm not saying that EVERY race has a star rating just a few 2 stars and a few more 1 stars to get the system going.
What are your 2 star and 1 star MARATHON races?