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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The art of running marathons



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John started his latest marathon training schedule at the weekend. He runs all the time, but in the run-up to a marathon starts a more intense programme. He is hoping to be one of the chosen ones to run in the London marathon in April. If his application is unsuccessful, he'll run in Boston instead. He has a list of the world's top 10 marathons and is working through them. In total he has run 14 marathons; on the list, he's completed New York, Paris, London, Berlin, Stockholm, Rotterdam and Honolulu.

Honolulu was fun - I didn't think John would be keen but because it was in the top 10 he agreed to have a fortnight's holiday with the marathon bang in the middle of it. It started at 5am and I was outside the hotel in the gloomy early morning light to take one of my inept photos as John ran by. I then got an excellent spot at the finish, although it meant I had to stand around for hours.

John's ambition is to complete a marathon in four hours. He's come close, but it still eludes him. Last year he joined local club the Orion Harriers to try to improve his time, and it's helped in terms of camaraderie and organised sessions. Saturday's run was a club race, a seven and a half miles cross country. I was filming for J's vblog. He wasn't very happy with his time and was covered in mud and scratches from brambles.

Last year J ran four marathons, far too many because the body takes a long time to recover. So he dialled it down this year and did two, Rotterdam and Stockholm, with some half marathons as part of his training. I went with him to Rotterdam and Stockholm. Rotterdam is one of the fastest courses, but unfortunately he got dehydrated after missing a water stop. Stockholm, back in June, we turned into a long weekend and took Rachel.

The picture hows Rachel, John and I at the Hastings half marathon earlier this year. It was cold!!!

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