MEMORABLE RUN: Malcolm Oke said he will never forget the the atmosphere of running the 42.2km course in front of 500,000 people at the Boston Marathon.
BRUNDEE’S Malcom Oke has returned home from the United States a happy man, after breaking the three hour threshold in last month’s Boston Marathon.
The 43-year-old was one of27,487 starters for this year’s race, which Oke had been preparing for for months.
“I took all my own food that I had been eating in the three months leading up to Boston as I didn’t want to change a thing in my diet heading into the race,” he said,
“I went for an 8km jog over thetoughest part of the course the day after I flew into Boston.
“I’d intentionally deprived myself of sleep and trained occasionally on two hours sleep, thinking that if I can run a good pace for 35km when I’m shagged, then jet lag will be the least of my problems.”
On race day, which had hot conditions witha 40km/h headwind, Oke started as the6799thranked fastest qualifier.
“On the day I ran 2:59:31, which I was stoked with,” he said,
“It’s a course that you have to get your own personal tactics right or it will trash your legs, but I was very confident I’d done my homework and I was going to give it a red hot poke.
“Heartbreak Hill comes at about 33km into the race andit’s not unlike running up Illaroo Road, but at race pace and 33 clicks in, it will break your race if you don’t grit your teeth.
“Ifinished 1385th, so I made up 5,414 places against faster qualifier’s than myself.
“In my 40-44 men’s age group, there was2036 runners and I finished 158th in this group.
“Overall I finished in the top four per centof runners, so I’m very very happy with my effort.”
“After reflecting for a moment on what I had actually done, I collected my medal and headedto a designated meeting area.
“My friends were hugging me and were so happy for me, then I got a tap on the shoulder and it was my wife Monica.
“I was so happy that she came over to see my achievement first hand.”
Oke will now rest before chasing a new personal best at July’sGold Coast Marathon.
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