Yesterday the Gyeongju Dong A Marathon Festival took place; organised by the same people who stage the Seoul Dong A Marathon every March. And a good job they generally do, too. As with all the Dong A events (the others being the aforementioned Seoul event and the Baekje marathon festival in which I took part in 2 weeks ago and wrote about on another blog) it was well organised and certainly blessed by the weather gods.
The festival includes 4 events: a marathon ( which was won yesterday by an Ethiopian in 2:08 something), a half marathon, a 10k, and a 5K. And they're all held on flat courses conducive to fast running. The event also coincided with the G20 Conference of Finance Ministers or Bank Governers ( or something like that) which was held at a local resort. And of course these fellows were ushered to the front of the 10k even though none of them have probably ever laced up a running shoe before.
Well I had a good race. Fortunately none of the said rather large politicians were able to block my start. Went through 5k in 18 minutes exactly and finished in 35:29. So I ran the second half 30 seconds quicker. Importantly I felt that I still had some juice left in my system afterwards. This I can put down to developing a good base of high quality steady running-NO speedwork.Two weeks ago I ran 35:50 ish, so I'm progressing along nicely. I don't think I've really opened up the envelope of fast running yet, however with a few weeks of faster paced training in my legs I'll be confident of running around 33 minutes before Christmas. And if that happens then I can look forward to a very successful marathon campaign.
So a great event and a pleasing run. The only negative point was that the 10k leaders ended up barging into the 5k field; a large percentage of which happened to be on a Sunday stroll rather than in a race.
I also met a chap called Derek Froude yesterday, a 2:11 marathon runner who ran for New Zealand in the 84 and 92 Olympics. A true Lydiard devotee! He no longer runs but is an agent; a few of his athletes competed yesterday. We ended up talking about the importance of developing a good aerobic base with plenty of miles. Now if any of you think you are doing enough training then think again. He mentioned that John Cambell, the first master to run a 2:10 marathon often ran 200 miles (300 kilometres) a week; in his 40s Not that I would recommend doing quite that much.