Abebe Bikila won the Olympic marathon in 1960; he ran this race bare foot in a time of 2:15:16.2. Four years on he matched this feat by winning in Tokyo 2:12:11:2, 2 minutes under the world record albeit with shoes on. A couple of interesting things about these historic events are he was the first Sub Saharan African to win an Olympic Gold medal really opening the door for so many to follow and dominate the sport. The other point I want to mention is that when he finished the Tokyo marathon he continued onto the grass and carried out a series of warm down exercises, which really are quite classic. Here’s a link so you can have a look (it starts around 5 minutes, lasting for only 30 seconds)
Back in present day I also want to plug Nick Willis and his achievements around the country this summer. As such a small country on the global scale we are extremely fortunate to have Nick Willis as a representative. And for the small community of runners having someone like him as an ambassador for our sport is just amazing.
Check out this little interview with him and you get an indication of his quality
As for me I’ve got my first race on the 10th of March down in Wanaka, the Motatapu Off Raod Marathon. I don’t know much about the course at the moment but as the week progresses I’ll spend some time becoming familiar with it through their website. Without knowing much about the environment it’s too early to predict a time and it has been a while since I’ve charged through rivers and continued on running (heard that there are several crossings). That part of the race I can’t wait for! I know that currently I’m in good condition and have certainly put the miles in during the first two months of the year. The challenge for me now is to target specific skills and techniques that will get me in the best shape for Rotorua. It’s still a long way away and much more work needs to be completed before best shape is produced!
So some stats for the week:
Elevation Gain:2,892 m
Max HR:209 bpm
Avg Elevation Gain:241 m
Max Time:3:00:48 h:m:s
After a week like this I was bound to feel flat on my Monday morning run and boy was it the case!!
Some events around the Canterbury area this week:
Ellesmere Road Runners: Leeston
Surf and Turf Series: Corsair Bay
The Rock Race: Rolleston
No website but register at Rolleston Community Centre at 94 Rolleston Drive, 6.30pm start
Might see you out there!