Grantham Running Club’s Gav Meadows and Neil Emerson travelled to Catalonia for the prestigious Barcelona Marathon.
The race was the culmination of a lot of hard training for both athletes and they each went into the race with high expectations and confidence that they would run new personal best times. The course is one of the flattest available in Europe and is perfectly suited to running fast times.
Thirty-five-year-old Gav maintained a pace of around seven minutes per mile for most of the race and, despite slowing significantly in the last two miles, completed the 26.2-mile course in a new PB of 3hr 7min, bettering his previous best by a whopping 16 minutes. He placed 1,220th overall in a field of more than 16,000 and finished 613th in his age category.
Gav said: “I don’t think I could’ve executed my race plan much better. My pace was very consistent for the vast majority of the race and the last two miles is the only part of the course where things went slightly wrong.
“I was thrilled with my overall performance. My goal was to finish in under 3.15 and I achieved this comfortably.”
Clubmate Neil, 56, was just as impressive. He crossed the line in 4.07.25, obliterating his previous PB by an incredible 18 minutes. He finished 11,082nd overall and placed 514th in his age category.
Neil said: “A perfect run. A beautiful, clear, sunny day. The course, which takes in most of Barcelona’s iconic landmarks, was well supported by local people and bands.
“Juggling marathon training with a busy work schedule is challenging. I find weekend long runs are fundamental to good performance.”