Our new hero . . .

Mon, Sep 24, 2012, 01:00

THIS RUNNING LIFE:. . . is Ed Whitlock, an 81-year-old who has just set a new over-80s half marathon world record of 1:38:59. That’s a 7:30 per mile pace.

Born in England, he broke the record in his adopted home town in Ontario, but as Runner’s World reports he did so after having only recently returned to regular running because in November last he fell on ice and broke a rib.

Whitlock was already the holder of the over-80s marathon record of 3:15:54. “I have had injury issues all this year and I am not in 100 per cent shape,” Whitlock said.

He does all his training at a local cemetery so that even his three-hour runs are done around laps that take no more than five minutes. “The day’s loop varies occasionally,” explains Runner’s World.

“Sometimes dictated by the presence of grounds crew or gravediggers.”

Putting it up to those of us who head out with a belt full of gels, water at every mile, and running shoes that could absorb a small nuclear explosion, Whitlock wears shoes that are almost worn through in parts, and doesn’t stop for water during his long runs.

THEY WENT THATAWAY

The pranksters at a Montana trail marathon who last week moved a marker – and added three miles onto the distance run by the competitors. The runners headed into a dead-end. “I got out into a clearcut with downed trees and bulldozer tracks. I was jumping over trees and going through it, and when I got to the other side, there wasn’t a trail,” said eventual winner Zach Millar.

So, if you’re doing Dublin and suddenly find yourself in Dalkey, you know who to blame . . .

INTO THE DARK

The excellent Irish running blog Diary of a Rubbish Marathon Runner remarked on something we noticed this week: the darkness, and cold, creeping into the day. In a post called That Day Again, Thomas Bubendorfer wrote: “18th September was the day this year. I ran in the morning, as I always do, and my hands felt freezing cold. For me, that one occasion always marks the end of summer.

“Accordingly I wore gloves yesterday and today. I also noticed that it’s still dark when I leave the house. Not dark enough for a headlamp, but enough to don the reflective gear. ”

He continued with something also on our minds: “Darker mornings usually mean that the Dublin marathon is getting close.”

As if we need the reminder.

Race of the week

Once there were the half-marathon and the marathon, and then the mini-marathon and ultra marathons.

And now, theres the kilomarathon – a distance measuring out as 26.2 km (rather than miles). If you’re still using old-fashioned measurements, the distance is just over 16 miles – so they’re pitched at being useful for those training for the Dublin Marathon, but who fancy something other than the long, slow training run on their own.

The Kilcock Kilomarathon in Co Kildare is on Sunday, with entries (€30) taken until 10am on the day.

With just a few weeks to go to the Dublin Marathon, it fits neatly into the training schedule. For more see runireland.com

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