FOR mere mortals like the rest of us, preparing to tackle a full marathon for the first time would involve many months of long, painful and largely slow runs before we’d even attempt 26.2 miles.
Strabane woman Ann-Marie McGlynn isn’t like the rest of us, though, she’s a top class international runner who proved that in spades at the weekend when she not only broke the 72 minute mark for a half-marathon but also set a new Northern Ireland and Ulster record for the distance with a time of one hour 11 minutes and 59 seconds at the eDreams Mitja Marató de Barcelona.
The Letterkenny Harrier was in Spain for the Catalan event as part of her preparations for a first attempt at the marathon in Rotterdam on April 7.
Ahead of the Barcelona half-marathon, which was run in breezy, but largely ideal conditions, McGlynn was confident of challenging Theresa Duffy’s long-standing record, she wasn’t expecting to smash it by 56 seconds.
“The target before was 72-low, so about 72.10, that’s where my training had indicated I should be but I’ll take it!,” beamed the mother of two, who recorded splits of 17.14 minutes for 5K, 34.07 for 10K and 51.09 for 15K.
“I was up a wee bit on my 10K split, we had planned around 34.20 but I went through in 34.07. I felt good, I felt comfortable, so I just kept that pace and I knew myself I was running within myself.
“I didn’t get too caught up in it and I was pretty consistent. I was getting quicker, so sometimes you just have to trust it and go with it and I think everything just clicked in Barcelona.”
Although her weekend’s exertions were basically nothing more than a training run used to guage her progress ahead of that marathon bow in two months, Ann-Marie isn’t too bothered about times at present.
While she and coach Colin Roberts have ‘a number in mind’ ahead of her trip to Holland, she won’t be thinking about that until two days before hand,
“I’m training for the Rotterdam Marathon, that’s the big thing, so this half marathon was really just a race towards the bigger picture,” she explained.
“The time was just a number I had that I knew I was in shape for after I raced a five miler in Raheny two weeks previous, but really, it’s my debut marathon in April that I’m focused on.
“We have a number in mind for that, but we’re not going to throw anything out there because with the marathon, it’s a long way around and I need to just respect the distance.
“I just do what I’m told by my coach – he gives me a number and I just go for it. He’ll be giving me my number two days before it and that’s what I’ll run.
“I do the training, he does the thinking and that’s the way I like it!,” she concluded.
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