Monday, October 29, 2007

Tomas Abyu: Knocks Four Minutes Plus Off Marathon Best

You may remember Tomas Abyu of Salford Harriers and the amazing eyes-off-the-ball which saw his 4th place and fastest UK time for seven years in the Great North Run completely missed by the MSM who covered Steve Maclaren jogging round in two hours instead.

Today in Dublin Tomas knocked four and a half minutes off his lifetime best time for the marathon with two hours ten minutes and 37 seconds gun to tape. The race was won by Aleksey Sokolov who smashed the course record with 2:09:07. Tomas was second, 30 seconds clear of a pack of world class runners and running near even pace throughout. 31 minutes for each 10k plus 6:37 for the last 2k. Metronomic.

I have been expecting this sort of breakthrough for a couple of years now. Tomas has run 2:15 three times over the last couple of years and doing it in London in 2006 he was set for 2:11/2:12 for most of the race.

I now repeat my suggestion of four weeks ago:

Preselecting Tomas for the Beijing marathon now, subject to fitness, and giving him enough financial support to discourage the old four half marathons in 29 days (three in 15 days) routine of Spring this year would be a cracking idea.

In a Championship context - and the Dublin race was similar - 2:10 is a highly competitive time. Tomas was not taken to the last Commonwealth Games though third in the rankings with three places available. The authorities have told me that his lack of a formal coaching contract and his unwillingness to miss races for squad talking shops has counted against him. That is frankly ridiculous.

He had a poor run in the European in Gothenburg, carrying an injury. But it is quite obvious that he knows how to prepare himself to race at the very highest level. Perhaps I can introduce him to Dr Ron Hill MBE (best 2:09:28, 1970, world best) for a little fine tuning?

Well done Tomas. This was brilliant running.

UPDATE: I'm told this run may not count as an Olympic qualifying time as the race is not a member of a consortium called AIMS. That too is ridiculous.