29 April - Most Roads Lead to London

Ahead of the London Marathon some notable highlights included a big marathon breakthrough by Jack B at Manchester, with 2.55 a 7 minute PB. At the Valencia Half Chris O further hacked into his PB with a nationally ranked 68.06 while Jeremy A also improved notably to 76.54.  

 In Paris Magda trimmed her marathon PB to 3.53 while we all have seen the span of amazing stires that arse in this years titanic Boston Marathon. In horrendous weather it was very pleasing to see Ray T and Rowena B, of County Meath and Aberdeenshire respectively battle tremendously well to run times that in normal weather would have been well deserved PBs. Whilst in Warsaw mid-European entrepreneur Ian T ran a craftily even 3.24, an age graded best for him after many attempts.

The London Marathon was then the focus of many and as we all know, it was hot. From my coaching and running perspective which spans pretty much the history of London marathons since 1981, the temperature on the start line of 19C was unprecedented, and so everyone was affected. Apparently it was not a day for anyone getting anywhere near their PBs, right? Maybe I coach some freaks but for faster, improving runners who got everything right, it was not a day for total meltdowns.

Highlights were Will Green PB of 2.27.02 and first UK 40 in the entire field, and none deserves this more. Also a super breakthrough by Chris O, over 3 mins PB advance to 2.29.54, and Xavier G, within seconds of his PB at 2.33. And hardy Welshman Martin Green, despite attempting the 2.30 which was never on, dug in deep for a 2.36 and with it second place in the Welsh Championship (senior, never mind Vets!).  Paul P toughed it out for 2.34, so with 5 coachees in the Top 70 of the National Championship I felt pleased that these guys had got the best out of themselves, or very close to it, on the day (5 more than certain self-styled leading UK coaches, I can¨t help but mention)

Others dug in tremendously well to achieve results that, in the conditions were tremendously strong versus their goals. In particular Andrew B with 3.25, Alex B 3.15 PB, Jasan with 3.34 (he was just about doing 8 miles at this pace in January in the cold of Gosforth, Newcastle), Karin 3.34 a nice PB, and Deborah doing superbly well in 4.42, one of the few real newbies I coach.