Weekend News Report - 20th/21st October 2018

Pearce Smashes Marathon Record

Henry Pearce took more than five minutes from the thirty-three year old club marathon record on Sunday, when he recorded, on Sunday. Pearce was earning his first full senior international vest, representing an England team at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, in Canada. Finishing fourteenth in the race, the time places him fifth on the UK rankings for 2018, a list headed by Mo Farah.

Conditions were not ideal, being windy in places, although the cool temperatures would have been welcomed by competitors. Pearce’s five kilometre splits told the story of his race, as he covered each of the early sections very consistently, recording 16.15, 16.20, 16.12, 16.13, 16.06 and 16.26 up to the thirty kilometre mark. The marathon distance then started to bite, with the next split being 16.48, followed by a 17.13. However, Pearce dug deep, over the last two kilometres, to set the mark and go under that 2.20 barrier, in what was his first completed marathon.

Back in April Pearce had suffered in the very warm conditions for the London Marathon, dropping out around halfway, but gained his England selection on the back of some excellent performances over shorter distances. He has recorded 29.33 for 10 kilometres, 49.54 for 10 miles and 65.49 for the half marathon this year. Then as recently as September he ran for Tonbridge in the South of England Road Relay championships, where he recorded the second fastest time of the race, before two weeks later anchoring the team to fourth place in the National Championships.

The twenty-four year old is a Tonbridge School old boy and joined Tonbridge AC when he was fifteen years old. Since then he has been a regular member of age group teams at the club, whilst also gaining Great Britain cross country representation at under 23 level. He studied at Loughborough University, before spending two years at Tulsa University, in the States, with an athletics scholarship. Now back home in England Pearce is working and studying with an accountancy firm, so having to plan marathon training around full time work.

The build-up to the marathon has involved regular weeks that total more than one hundred miles, with plenty of runs of around two hours, at close to six minutes a mile pace. On top of this a variety of training sessions have been included, with a specific three month build up to the marathon.

With the marathon completed and a significant target achieved, Pearce will now be having a well earned break to recover, before deciding how to approach the next phase with his running.

Also on the roads, on Sunday, Maria Heslop finished seventh female in the Great South Run, over ten miles, at Portsmouth. Heslop ran 61.06 to not only be the fastest in the over 50 age group, but also quicker than all the over 40s. Her time was forty two seconds outside her Tonbridge club age group record, set earlier in the year.

Julian Rendall won the Weymouth 10 mile road race on Sunday in 59.06, whilst nearer to home Claire Day was the first female finisher in the Tonbridge 10k with 39.53.

This coming weekend Tonbridge Athletic Club host the Kent Cross Country Fixture, with the help of The Schools at Somerhill, and the first league race starts at noon.

There is also an ‘open’ race starting at 11am for under 12s, which involves entry on the day thirty minutes beforehand. A medal will be awarded to every finisher in this event which will be run over approximately a mile. For details please click here