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Feb 20, 2012

Phil Withers - Runner of the Month February 2012

Phil WithersPhil Withers gets the award this month for knocking 40 minutes off his marathon PB at the Gloucester Marathon in January (in a time of 3.49). He also explains what led him to enter Gloucester and his experiences on the day.

Category: ROTM
Posted by: steve

Phil explains what led him to enter the Gloucester Marathon:

"I am on such a high at the moment.  I am currently training for the London Marathon.  I have only run two marathons in my lifetime and both have been at London.  The first time in 1998 aged 39 I completed in 4hrs 29minutes and on the second occasion in 2007 aged 48 at a time somewhere around 5hrs. (For some strange reason I don't appear to have kept a record of it.) 2007 was a very hot year and I made some fundimental mistakes like wearing shoes that were too new, and experimenting with a new style of running sock on race day, not to mention lack of training - the result serious blisters at 15 miles!

Any way why am I on a high?  I find the long lonely training runs quite difficult and so decided to run the Gloucester marathon as a training run with the option of just peeling off whenever I'd had enough.  Did I really intend to do that?  Maybe I was just trying to trick my mind.

So I paid my pretty expensive entrance fee (well for a training run that is) and joined 373 other runners on the start line of the Gloucester marathon.  Still thinking of it as a training run I didn't think of the overall distance ahead of me but instead just lost myself in thoughts on the 5 mile figure of eight and 3 lap undulating (with a caputal U) circuit that made up the 26.2 miles. I only really started looking at the miles left to do at the 20 mile marker.  By this point I couldn't pull out and instead completed my third marathon, the "first out of London" AND with a time of 3hrs 49mins so under that 4hr marker that I didn't believe I could achieve."