Glad I left it a little too late to go for my run: it's just started chucking it down outside. Will wait for it to pass.
South Africa has lost a famous marathoner I've never heard of...
(11-Nov) – Ferdinand Andries (“Ferdie”) Le Grange, who died on 29 October at the age of 65, was South Africa’s greatest marathon runner of the post-war era until the advent of Josiah Thugwane. Unlike Thugwane, Le Grange never had the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games because of the international sports boycott against his country, but he was the first athlete to run a sub-2:20:00 marathon on the continent of Africa and set six South African marathon records – the only runner in history to do so more than twice.
— South Africa Loses Famous Marathoner - Competitor Running
I'd never heard of this chap until this article and I'm very surprised and a bit disappointed. Yes, he retired (at the age of 25) from competitive running before I was born but his records and performances are pretty impressive even by today's standards. That said, I grew up in the "Bruce Fordyce gives Comrades another good hiding" era, so maybe that explains why he hasn't shown up on my radar until now.
Earlier this year I took my first stab at a sub-3 hour marathon at the Milton Keynes marathon and completely misjudged things and in retrospect probably my abilities at the time, and completely blew it. On Sunday I took another stab at that elusive sub-3 marathon mark in my third ever marathon, the Abingdon Marathon, and smashed it out of the ballpark.
Following my disappointing run at the Milton Keynes marathon I decided I was going to create a properly structured training programme that would guide me to a great marathon time. After a little bit of research and reading I stumbled upon Marathoning The Hansons' Way. Intrigued by this approach and the relative simplicity (compared to The Daniels Runner Formula), I purchased their book - Hansons Marathon Method - in Kindle format, read it, and devised my four month training programme. This ended up being a great programme which I'll cover that in another post.
This is the big day I've been training for: the Abingdon Marathon. It has just tipped it down, so let's hope that's it until I'm done.
I ran the Reading O2O 10K on Sunday morning and bagged my first ever podium finish...
I'd completely forgotten about this race until I noticed one of the signs on Friday morning whilst out on my run. Once back in the office, I checked if I could enter on the day - I could - and the previous year's results and I thought I'd have a chance at a podium finish so decided I'd do it.
Sunday morning I popped down to TVP, registered and entered the race. As is common with races people shoot off from the start and a group of about 8 guys headed off ahead of me. I wasn't too worried and played things safe and ran at my own pace. I was soon up in 5th place and then started reeling in the guys ahead of me. I was in 4th by 6km with the third place guy in my sights: first and second were long gone and out of sight.
I then closed the gap on the third place guy and was hot on his heels by the 8km mark. At this point he seemed to slow down, so I slowed a little too as I wasn't sure if he was going to try and burn me at the end. I soon determined his legs were shot and there was no way he was going to keep up with me, so I took him and pulled a comfortable gap with about 1km to go. It was at this point I noticed that the 2nd place chap wasn't actually that far ahead of me. I think with a bit of effort I could have caught him had I seen him sooner
I finished strongly and in a time of 35:20 gun time and 35:18 chip time shaving 1:05 off my previous PB. Chuffed to bits about getting both a podium finish (got a trophy but no cash ) and a huge new PB. In retrospect, I think I might have been able to break 35mins had I not been scared of being challenged by the guy who eventually came forth.
Next up: Abingdon Marathon in which I'm aiming for a sub-3.
Today's podium finish deserved a well earned treat for the winter: an @ashmei ultimate softshell running jacket.
I got to play rabbit today at Reading #parkrun. Led from about 800m and ticked off my 3rd parkrun first & a new PB. 17:08 by my watch.
Update: Official time ended up being 17:10, still a PB
Felt a sharp pain in my chest mid-run this afternoon. No, not a heart attack, but a wasp... stuck bum-first to my left pec.
Added another sub-80 half-marathon to my name & a PB too. Maidenhead in 1:19:23 on my watch. Chip time likely to be quicker.
Help me win a Salomon Agile 12 set trail backpack by visiting this link on FetchEveryone: http://www.fetcheveryone.com/win-32814