Timaru runner Sam Wreford blitzed the field in the Buller Gorge Marathon on Saturday, coming home in 2hr 16min 3sec.
Not only did Wreford win the race, he ran it in a record time for the event – and beat his personal best time.
“It was good. I really, really enjoyed it,” he said.
Wreford, who smashed the event’s previous record of 2hr 20min, held by Phil Costley, of Richmond, was 30 minutes ahead of second place-getter Chris Kelly, of Christchurch.
“Basically, I had a goal in terms of what I wanted to do.”
Wreford, who used the Buller Gorge Marathon as a training run for the London Marathon in April, said a win was not necessarily part of his plan for the Buller race.
“If someone was going to run faster [that was fine],” he said.
“I was sticking to my plan and what my coach, Barry Magee, and I wanted to get out of it.”
The London Marathon takes place on April 22, an event Wreford is confident will be another quick race.
“I would like to run substantially faster than 2hr 16min.
plenty left in the tank to have a nudge at a super-fast time.”
Wreford’s efforts last weekend allowed him to shave 25sec off his previous best marathon time of 2hr 16min 28sec, which he achieved in Christchurch in 2014.
Pacing himself was the key.
“If you don’t pace yourself right, you’ll pay the price somewhere.”
However, Wreford’s training schedule was not all about pounding the pavement 42km at a time. Instead, he also ran in Timaru’s 5km summer series around Caroline Bay on Tuesday nights.
“It’s good to jump into those 5km series [runs] to help with speed – it all complements marathon running.”
To put that “speed work” into context, Wreford’s best 5km run time this season, as of last week, was 14min 40sec.
Running fast was Wreford’s forte, not just because he could but because he enjoyed it.
“I think there’s something about pushing yourself and seeing what your body is capable of. There’s a bit of an adrenaline rush doing that.”