In the UK the Cross Country season is nearing an end (though it’s been a very un-muddy one in the UK) and while there are the World XC champs still to run in Denmark at the end of March, we’re starting to get some juicy tarmac news coming through. We might not be in the territory of big-buck marathons yet but some of those targeting springtime glory are getting out there and testing their legs over slightly shorter distances.
Maragume Half Marathon : Charlotte’s looking good and Sinead breaks a world record
From a Brits perspective, the big news from Japan was that Charlotte Purdue’s (I: @charlottepurdue) Australian training seems to be suiting her. Having won the Australian XC champs in January, this was her first test on the road and over a slightly longer distance since calf and hamstring issues caused a DNF at the Euro Champs Berlin Marathon in March 2018 and then her Great North Run was finished only after a fall and some time in the medical tent in September. Charlotte had been due to run New York Marathon but subsequently pulled out when she learned she had a virus. So, as preparation goes for London Marathon placing 4th in the race, 9th fastest Brit over a half marathon ever and knocking 45s off your PB to go sub 70mins will do quite nicely thankyou. As we start to look to London, performances like this are our best indicators so if Charlotte can stay healthy and injury free then hopefully we’ll see her replicate, if not beat her London IAAF World Championships Marathon from 2017.
For the home crowd and , I’ll be honest for me too (as a slightly more mature runner), it was Sinead Diver (@I: @Diversinead) getting us all excited. Having run a 2:25 marathon in October she showed again that it’s not just the long one that suits her, as she broke the world W40 record for the half marathon, running 1:08:55. It shouldn’t have been a surprise since she held the previous record but heck, shes over 40 and getting faster. I’ve got no excuse! In fact, I feel like I shouldn’t even highlight her age as that time is newsworthy in its own right and I feel like maybe it dumbs it down to only celebrate it for it's vet status.
1 Betsy Saina KEN 01:07:49
2 Ayuko Suzuki JPN 01:07:55
3 Sinead Diver AUS 01:08:55
4 Charlotte Purdue GBR 01:09:46
5 Rachel Cliff CAN 01:10:28
Full results here
IN OTHER NEWS
This interview with Outsider makes me even more excited for London 2019 as Emily Sisson (@Em_Sisson) (who ran 1:07:30 at Houston Half Marathon recentlym which is 6s off the American record) talks about training for her first ever marathon Read it here https://www.outsideonline.com/2387271/emily-sisson-houston-half-london-marathon
Sarah Sellers (@sarah_sellers) is in deep marathon training ahead of her return to Boston but that doesn’t stop her racing. The now famous “surprise” second placer from 2018 has been testing her mettle running 10ks on marathon legs. I love her attitude of shaking things up in that middle point of marathon training. Hmmm…
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Ran the David Chavana 10k in Edinburg Texas this weekend. And while I don't condone shouting in all caps, THIS WAS SUCH AN AWESOME RACE 🎈🎉🎈🎉 I felt exactly like I thought I would - like I was trying to go 80 mph in a 1955 pickup truck. Which is what I wanted - a 10k to shake up marathon training. I ended up 4th overall and 1st American, but that's not what was really remarkable about this race. I think the community involvement in this event is unlike any other I've been part of. In a city of 80,000 people, well over 9,000 people participated in the races (10k, 2 mile, and 1mile). We visited several schools the day before the race, and ENTIRE elementary schools participated in the event. Like every single student 😮 David started this race with the parks department in 1983, and he has put his heart and soul into making this an exciting family event for the community every year. This weekend he told me "I work hard to keep the race entry fees so low ($5-10) because I want families to be able to come. If a family of 4 can sign up all their kids for 20 bucks, they're going to participate and that's pretty special." Such a great race and incredible community, and so grateful to be part of it this year!
Tina Muir (GB runner and host of Running For Real podcast) and Teal Burrell (US, writer of http://www.milestothetrials.com/ who was the genesis of my current long term marathon goal) have both confirmed that they’ll be running Boston Marathon this year. Tina has commented that she’ll be starting in the 1st non-elite wave in order to continue her measured approach to racing post-partum. The Boston lineup is already STACKED enough to make me excited but these two ladies have been big inspirations to me and I suspect to many others, so I’m really excited to see them running this race.
In less happy news, Jemima Sumgong who won Gold in the Marathon at the Rio Olympics, has had her doping ban increased to 8 years. This effectively finishes her career as the ban will end in 2025. It’s a jaw dropping story, reported on by Sean Ingle reports over at the Guardian. Astonishingly, Sumgong used her medical history of an ectopic pregnancy as a cover for EPO and then claimed that a rogue doctor had injected her. That’s not where it ends, but I’ll let you read Sean’s article.
The eDreams Barcelona Half Marathon takes place on 10th Feb with Hong Kong and Seville Marathons following on the 17th. As yet, I can’t find any start lists for these but if I do I’ll let you know.
And with that… ‘till next week, pavement pounders. I’m off to do a track session. Wish me luck.