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

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