Now established as a niche event, the Standard Chartered Jersey Marathon is home to a variety of runner types. From those set on personal challenges. Others who are raising money for charity. And high profile elite athletes competing for prizes and honour.
The event starts and finishes in the heart of Jersey’s town St. Helier. The route takes runners via many stunning scenic views. Along country lanes and past breath-taking coastal vistas in the Western parishes.
An enjoyable challenge for beginners and experienced competitors, the race divided into three categories. Marathon, Relay Race and 3K Fun Run. Last year, the Jersey Marathon attracted over 2,500 entrants with over 60% of registered runners visiting the Island.
With such a high number of visitors, the Jersey Marathon organisers have always been keen to promote the event. There are many initiatives such as the carb loading ‘pasta party’ the night before. These take place to encourage people to meet each other – and size up the competition!
The whole route is lined with cheering spectators. Making crossing that finish line in Jersey is a special occasion. Expect large crowds and a full media presence all applauding entrants on. Runners can expect a thunderous reception as they complete the course.
A little marathon history
The history of the marathon may have ancient roots. But the race’s official length of 26.2 miles wasn’t established until the 20th century. And likely at the instigation of the British royal family?
The first organized marathon was in Athens at the start of the modern era of the Olympic Games in 1896. Before this, the sporting event (held only in Greece from around 776 B.C. to A.D. 393), didn’t feature such long-distance races.
The idea to include it in the late 19th century was inspired by the legend of an ancient Greek messenger who raced from the site of Marathon to Athens. A distance of almost 25 miles (40kms) – with the news of an important Greek victory over an invading army of Persians.
After making his announcement, the exhausted messenger collapsed and died. To commemorate his dramatic run, the distance of the Olympic marathon was set at 40 kms in 1896.
For the next few Olympics, the length of the marathon remained close to 25 miles. Then, as part of the 1908 Games in London, the course was allegedly extended to accommodate the wishes of the Crown.
It’s said that King Edward V11 and Queen Alexandra requested that the race should start on the lawn of Windsor Castle. This was so that their children could watch from the window of their nursery. The race would finish in front of the Royal Box at the Olympic stadium in West London. With a distance that happened to be 26.2 miles (26 miles and 385 yards). This random boost in mileage ending up sticking. In 1921, the length for a marathon was standardized at 26.2 miles (42.19 kms).
How to recover after the Jersey Marathon
After months of training and a long marathon run, how to recover should then become your priority. Lots of runners make the mistake of not taking time to recover. But after all the training and effort on race day, the body needs to rest.
For a dedicated runner, taking a week off may seem counter productive and there maybe a fear of losing the hard earned gains. But the reality is that not taking time to recover can lead to over training and possible injuries. Also, resting for a week will have little adverse impact on your fitness.
Start your marathon recovery on the right foot.
Immediately after your run, it recommended to take a short stroll. This will act as a cool down and keep your blood flowing – aiding muscle tissue repair. Also, eat some fruit, energy bars or sports drinks providing vitamins and restoring blood sugar levels.
Try to get back to where you are staying as soon as possible. Soak in an ice bath or cold pool for approximately 15 minutes. Then relax.
In the days following, try to consume lots of fruit, carbohydrates and protein. The carbs and protein will help repair the muscles. The fruits will help repair the immune system and replenish Vitamin C.
Soak in a hot and cold pool for alternate 5 minute intervals. This temperature contrast bathing helps blood flow in and out of the muscles and promotes healing.
A light massage at this stage will help loosen the muscles. But refrain from deep tissue massage at this stage. If you have problem areas or injury after 3 to 4 days, this is the time for deep tissue massage.
Towards the latter part of the 7 day recovery is a good time to return to some gentle running. Building back into full training over the period of 14 to 21 days.
Do not be concerned with losing running ability or fitness. It is far more important to ensure proper recovery and come back fitter and stronger from the marathon.
Where to Recover
Many local sporting athletes use Ayush Wellness Spa for the pre and post activity recovery. The spa is a perfect environment for relaxation and includes a sauna and steam room. Within the spa complex is a variety of massage pools, including a 36° hot pool and 8° cold pool ideal for contrast bathing recovery. The spa also offers a range of massage therapies.
Complimentary use of Ayush Spa when you stay with us
Ayush Spa is situated here at Hotel de France. So if you are visting Jersey for the marathon and book your accommodation with us, we can offer you complimentary use of the spa facilities.
Visit the official website to find out more about the Standard Chartered Jersey Marathon.