Let’s start with the most recent because as well as the raw data being very impressive it’s a fine example of perseverance and was achieved by one of life’s finest people, so it’s one of my favourite coaching moments over many years, never mind just this autumn. On December 2nd in Valencia, Will Green ran 2.24.48, 2 days short of his 44th birthday, for a chunky PB and 2nd place in 2018 amongst all UK men over 40. That completes a full house of PBs in 2018 for him.
Tracking back to mid October, Amsterdam brought a big PB of 3.13 by Jacqueline O’C while in the adjoining Half Marathon Christine K ran a storming 90.24 at 63 years old. And the pacing strategy cost her that sub 90. No, I don’t fully get how she does it but to her it’s just her normal.
The ever-popular Abingdon marathon had some encouraging debuts; notably 56 year old Jon S a very pleasing 2.58 after one of the more restrained mileage blocks of sub 3 prep. Ditto Maria S, her debutante status not holding her back from 3.24, after some injury hit build up constraints.
The next weekend in Frankfurt Daniele B after a thorough summer build up chopped almost 6 minutes off his 2017 PB with 2.53 and should have further upside next time out. Moritz S was another chipping away at the PB on home soil with his 2.58.
Further down the distances and indeed age ranges, Alex M was back to form with his 81 minute PB at Gosport Half while Becky M continued her onwards and upwards progress at 10k with a 90 sec PB at Brighton with 37.48.
Snowdonia (Eryri for any Pembrokeshire hill farmers delving into this piece) Marathon was once again a happy mountain hunting ground for Martin Green. Now 44, he placed second ahead of a couple of England internationals, and rated his 2.47 his ‘best run ever’ (2.31 PB as context), and he has had a few to compare against.
On to San Sebastian, one of my faves to travel to. And eat at. Made all the more so thanks to a full house of marathon PBs with Megan A and Matt H notching up 10 and 9 minute progressions and Jennifer E placing 4th in the women’s race with a new PB of 2.53.46. In the half Christine K ran 90.11 – which if she can match this after her next birthday on 22 December would give her another world age best.
Marathon-wise, last knockings to be had at Pisa in 2 weeks, the final pre-Christmas option and one which, unexpectedly, two coachees have gone for. The lengths people go to just to pick up some artisanal pannetone.