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Marathon consistency. Ed Gumbley has been reflecting on missing his best time by just two seconds in Rotterdam where he ran 2:35:16. His last six off Island marathons have averaged 2:36:28

Ed’s target in Rotterdam was to run under 2 hours 30 minutes, which meant averaging 5:43 per mile.  He admits it was quite ambitious, but he felt in really good shape and thought it was possible if the conditions were good and the race went to plan.

Unfortunately it didn’t. "I was held up at the start by slower runners who were in the wrong starting pen," he explained this week. "This meant the first couple of miles were very slow and I wasted energy trying to pass people and was unable to choose the shortest route.  By about 5K I was able to get into my running, but spent much of the first half of the race running by myself into a headwind, which took its toll, until I was caught by a group of about eight runners, including one of the elite women and her two pace-makers.  I tagged onto the back of them and this really helped and I started to feel better."

He felt that some of the damage had already been done and wondered whether perhaps he hadn’t taken in enough fluid as he started to cramp up in the last few miles and the pace began to slip.  "The last couple of miles were very painful" he said. "But I pushed as hard as I could to the line".

Unfortunately he missed out on a personal best by just 2 seconds, running 2:35:16!  After finishing the race, both his calves cramped up and he was unable to walk, so he was wheeled into the medical tent for a massage and told to drink plenty of sports drink. 

He was a bit frustrated to get so close to a PB, but it was still a good time, He doesn’t think he could have done any more and considered that, on a different day and perhaps a different course, was in shape to run faster. 

For those looking to follow in his footsteps he feels that the key to this year has been consistency.  "I have had a good winter and cross-country season and put in some good mileage.  I had an injury problem in March, but had maintained my fitness through cross-training.", However, he dropped out of the 20-mile race and felt he lacked marathon-paced long runs and tempo training, which is something he intends to work on in future. 

28-Sep-08 Berlin Marathon


25-Apr-10 Virgin London Marathon


25-Sep-11 Berlin Marathon


20-May-12 Nykredit Copenhagen Marathon


22-Jul-12 Microgaming Isle of Man Marathon


21-Apr-13 Virgin London Marathon


11-Aug-13 Microgaming Isle of Man Marathon


13-Apr-14 Rotterdam Marathon


He enjoyed a well-earned holiday after the marathon, travelling around Belgium, sampling plenty of Belgian beer, chocolate, waffles and fries! "I don’t intend to take my running too seriously for the next month or so and just enjoy my running.  My targets for the rest of season are Race the Sun on 17th May, where I’ll be running two legs, either the Microgaming Isle of Man marathon or half marathon in August and perhaps the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon in September to hopefully run an Island Games qualifying time."

He may also run a few 5K races and compete in the Northern League.  "I think my best chance of running a fast marathon will be in London next year.  It may not be the fastest course, but I know it well, there’s always a great atmosphere and, since I have a championship entry, I do not need to worry about being boxed in by slower runners."



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