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Clipping from The Gazette, Montreal,
Monday, May 31, 1982.
The last couple of weeks have been very frustrating, as discussed in previous posts.  I seemed to be on track with my training program and hopeful of achieving the sub-3:00 marathon performance I was hoping for this coming October in Melbourne, then got injured.  It doesn't seem serious, but is slow to heal and the Melbourne Marathon looks doubtful and my motivation has been low.

One of my golfing buddies, Dave, sent me an email on Friday suggesting I think about going for the greatest spans between marathon wins, as perhaps an easier option.  He included a clipping about American, Benji Durden, having won the Nutmeg Marathon in Connecticut (3:56) in May of this year, 36 years after his first marathon win, the longest span on record.  Dave's aware of my quest for another sub-3:00 marathon and was suggesting that perhaps Benji's new record might be more feasible (given his winning time).  I actually met Benji, a much better-performed marathon runner than me, at the 1982 Montreal International Marathon where I was part of an Australian team.  He won in 2:13, whilst I was 46th in 2:29!  It was interesting to get Dave's email and learn that I might finally be able to beat Benji, 31 years later.  I never actually won that many marathons (plenty of 2nds, for some reason), and the first was in 1979, so Benji's record looks safe.

Finishing the 1982 Montreal International
(46th, 2:29....not one of my better runs!)
However, on researching Benji's performances, I came across the Association of Road Racing Statisticians website which provides a wealth of information about road racing.  After some further searching, I found their Marathon Trivia section and then a page titled Longest Time Spans Between First and Last Sub-X Marathons.  With that, I found my motivation to get fit and pursue my sub-3:00!
The current best is 39 years, with another 11 runners with 34 years or better.  If I did manage to run a sub-3:00 marathon in the next year, my span would be 43 years, well ahead of the pack, and the kind of challenge that really gets me out of bed in the morning.

On a more sobering note, I walked a little over 2km this morning and could still feel that things aren't quite right in my troublesome arch.  However, there was no real pain and I will repeat the exercise tomorrow.