A TRIO of Stratford Athletic Club members competed in the historic Berlin Marathon and each demonstrated their desire, strength and stamina.
Duncan Reading (3:46.46) ran a superb race and was rightly proud of his terrific performance.
His training was significantly hampered due to injury and illness and his furthest training run was 16 miles. Consequently, Duncan set out with a target of completing the distance. It turned out that his legs kept going all the way and he even shaved a couple of minutes from from his PB.
After a steady start, he gradually increased his speed to the 21km mark where he eased off slightly. He found a second wind at 30km and put in good piece of work in the closing stages to finish well.
It was Duncan’s first overseas race and he enjoyed the overall experience – seeing a new city, meeting runners from other countries and receiving plenty of vocal support.
Emily Adams (3:48.12) had a “brilliant run”. She was delighted with her effort and thrilled to have taken part in such a major event.
Emily reached the halfway point in 1:51.23 and was running at her fastest pace of the race. She continued to run smoothly and felt great up until 30km, when she found she had to use all of her physical and mental resolve to maintain her momentum.
Emily battled on well and even managed to increase her speed in the final 2km. When she checked her watch as she crossed the line she saw a very pleasing time.
Emily has had a fabulous year. She has run personal best times for 5 miles, 10km, 20 miles and the marathon, as well as showing speed endurance on the track and an affinity for cross-country running.
After putting in some hard training miles, James Deacon (4:06.02) was unfortunate to pick up a minor calf injury just ten days before the race. He stood at the start happy that he had rested his leg sufficiently and knew he had tapered enough for the marathon.
Shortly after reaching the 5km mark in a rapid 24.33, James’ calf injury reappeared. He was understandably frustrated and considered stepping off the course as the pain set in.
However, he was determined to finish the race and, thanks to the excellent support of the crowd and his huge personal willpower, he was able to keep going at a steady pace.
After keeping his focus and running within himself up to 32km, James started to decrease his pace. Incredibly he managed to pass 35km in just over 3 hours despite being in pain. With just over 6km remaining his calf seized up, forcing him to drop his pace again for the remainder.
James would be glad to run the race again in the future and see how he copes with a trouble-free run. If he does so, his fighting spirit and desire to succeed will stand him in good stead.
For the sixth consecutive occasion, the marathon world record was broken in this event. This time it was the turn of Dennis Kimetto of Kenya to run a phenomenal race. He beat the previous best by 26 seconds, finishing in 2:02.57.
The women’s race was won by Tirfi Tsegaye of Ethiopia in 2:20.18.