Autumnal Advances

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December 8, 2023

Autumnal Advances

A snapshot round up of a host of recent achievements by coachees across performance levels from fully fledged international through club big hitters to others with slightly less all-consuming goals. Mainly marathon focused but definitely not entirely so.

December 3rd brought the ever-anticipated Valencia Marathon which is gathering a huge reputation. It isn’t an official world major and it seems that serious runners seeking fast times care not a jot about this particular branding niche as they flock there in numbers. This year the depth was extraordinary with 300th place at 2.24 and 800th at 2.32 – and almost 5000 runners sub 3 – so about 15% of the entire field. From the posse there were 8 out of 10 PBs, headed by George S with a high 2.24, almost 2 minutes progress since London; chased by Hallam G in 2.32 (3.5 min PB), Immie M leading the women with a 2.56 PB, Luke J 2.58 (22 min PB), Brad with a fine 3.02 (6 mins progress since London ), Francois 3.04 (11 mins PB). Particular viewing bonus was that the BBC provided live coverage online with quality commentary by James Thie and Richard Nerurkar – keeping the comms IQ as high as the aerobic ability on the tarmac.

A week earlier on November 26th, Josh C had a super debut with 2.54 at San Sebastian and at exactly the same time in Florence Sal C was doing very similar, his 2.57 achieving a whopping 18 minute PB and excellent progress over 6 months of build up.

Plus big progress from Joe H chalking up a 2.43 in Ravenna on November 12th which is a 15 minute PB. Highly recommended course and organisation too. His build up included a swift half PB of 74 minutes too.

Whilst down in the rhone valley Jess A notched up a 10k PB of 37.55.Racing at similar level Immie M ran an almost PB of 82 mins in Amsterdam Half following her progress over summer to 37.31 in the musselbrough 10k and 17.54 over 5k.

Chicago in early October brought a super new PB by Nick Impey, 2.24 at age 41 and a 2 minute improvement from his fine run at London this spring. First UK Male to finish too. And another with a 3 minute advance was Alessandro down to 2.51. Just a few seconds ahead of Jeremy  A, now well into the V45 category . 

In some non-marathon highlights…..having started coaching Highgate big beast Jacob A in August it was very exciting to see him place a mighty second place in the classic great south run 10 miles with a sparkling 47.13. He has pedigree over some years but this was a breakthrough. 

George S notched up a 5k PB of 15.21 and almost PB of 69.50 at the Cardiff half marathon whilst new coachee  Ed C since May ran a fine 3000 PB of 8m27 , a strong 30.45 at the Stirling 10k and on his favoured cross country surface has raced very well with 3rd in the London championship followed by a win in the south of Thames champs and a swift 4th in the highly competitive Surrey league. 

September 24th marked the weekend when the autumn marathon really starts up. That's right, it’s Bedford Aerodrome day and there are also a few who attend the Berlin Marathon. 

From the perspective the day had 10 marathoners and 9 PBs.  The one who missed out was Alex L with a mid 2.18 in Berlin, not a meltdown but not quite what was sought after the excellent 2.15.01 in London. After a solid 64.42 in a warmish big half marathon there were hopes of shaving the PB.

Leading the rest of the Berliners was Jess A with 2.54 (3 min PB) then debutant Connor with 2.56. Fine progress in his 50s by Jan F with 3.22(5 min PB).Also a shout for ex high flying sprint swimmer Philip L with a 3.23 debut, which from a 1.48 half marathon just over a year ago is great progress. And newly minted 60 year old Philip D improved his PB to 3.44 at Bedford. 

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