Sunday, 22 June 2008

Torbay Half Marathon: England 2 - 0 Kenya

When was the last time english runners took the first two places in a road race with kenyan starters ?

On a blustery morning on the English 'Riviera' Toby Lambert and myself got the job done over my friend Zac Kihara and former Istanbul Marathon winner Joseph Mbithi in the Torbay Half Marathon. Its fair to say that having just got to the UK on friday Zac and Joseph were not in the best racing condition, not that you would have guessed it from their standard surging tactics in the opening miles. I was struggling very early in the race. No bounce in my stride and hammies like drainpipes after last weeks track 10,000m so I settled in for the long haul, hoping the hills and wind would reward a more conservative effort.

Up front Toby and Zac quickly dropped Joseph and started to build a solid lead. I had caught Joseph by 4 miles and we ran side by side until the hills at the start of the second lap when I put my foot down at the 8 mile mark and opened a gap. Coming off the top of the hill I could see that Toby had dropped Zac and the marathoners mindset kicked in of slowly reeling in the man in front. At the final turn in Torquay I sensed Zac struggling and one more effort enabled me to pass him just after 11 miles and maintaining the pace up the last hill ensured there was no way back for him.

While the times were nothing special, today was all about racing and using the course and conditions to the maximum. Not long ago I would have come into a race like this with african runners and been running for 3rd place but now having trained in Kenya and got used to how africans race I know what strategies I can use to make the most of any weaknesses.

1. Toby Lambert 67:21
2. Adrian Marriott 68:30
3. Zac Kihara 69:xx

Full Results

In the news:
Herald Express
Race Video

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Sunday, 15 June 2008

29:47.77 for 11th place at the UK Championships

Well i'm still buzzing after last nights race as part of the excellent BMC Elite Meeting at Watford.

These are the occasions that us athletes spend thousands of miles preparing to be a part of. The strong domestic field lined up for the UK Championships and Olympic Trials is not the easiest place to run a first track 10,000m for a decade but I really enjoyed it and ran a personal best into the bargain which bodes well for my next marathon this autumn.

The early pace was a bit fast for my liking as I got dragged through 2km in 5.50 before things settled down as the field broke into three groups with me tucked in the middle of the third of those. By 3km (8.48) myself and Fredrik Urhbon from Sweden were at the front of the group and alternating the lead to reel in the second group in front of us which we managed just after halfway (14.46).

From that point it was taking all my effort to stay on the back of the group and just after 7k it started to get really ugly and I had a couple of bad laps and got dropped off the back of the group. Fortunately the marathon mindset meant that I was able to focus on 2 miles to go as the 'last rep' in a typical marathon training session and keep it together - in days gone by I would have fallen apart at this point. With the last km back under 3 mins again it was a satisfying finish in 16th place overall and 11th of the brits.

Up front Antony Ford reversed last year's result to take the win from Phil Nicholls who was involved in a tangle of legs with Somalia's Moumin Geele early on and never really recovered. Its not the first time Moumin has gone down, I remember him hitting the floor hard in the Cabbage Patch 10 a couple of years back and taking a few runners with him after he clipped a kerb. James Walsh added a bronze to his recent Inter Counties 5000m win.

While 11 athletes under 30 minutes (8 personal bests) will hardly strike fear into the heart of the Rift Valley this was one of the best strength in depth 10,000m races in the UK for some years and even compares favourably to the last UK Championship race I ran in 1998. And with the likes of Matt Ashton and John Beattie running well in america hopefully something to build on for next year.

Some reflections on the training I did to peak for this race and the mindset I brought into it will follow in a few days when i've got some time to write it up.


1 28:30.39 Antony Ford Blackpool Wyre & Fylde
2 28:54.95 Phil Nicholls Tipton
3 29:19.42 James Walsh Leeds City
11 29:47.77 Adrian Marriott Wells City Harriers

Full Results

2008 UK Rankings

Monday, 9 June 2008

Supporting the CRY Centre for Sports Cardiology

Greg Whyte and his intrepid team from the Centre for Sports Cardiology are about to start the Race across America 2008 bike race to raise money for CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).

This is a cause close to my heart, if you will pardon the pun. Greg and his team screened me a few years back to check for any structural defects in my heart. Although I have the cardiac equivalent of a misfire at least the mechanics of it are all sound ! While screening can't prevent every case of sudden death in young sportsman it can and does pick up many structural problems and improves prevention.

You too can sponsor the team on the Just Giving web site.