Race: Quebec City Marathon (oops, Half).
Date: August 28, 2011.
Heeeeeere’s Johnny! And there he goes… from ordinary to extraordinary in about one year.
It amazes me, each time I lurk race results to find a huge PB by one of Ajax Running Free’s runners. The latest case in point is our John Gardener.
John had planned to take his marathon PB down considerably (previously 3:07 in Hamilton last fall) at Quebec this past weekend. However, the marathon distance had to be cancelled due to Hurricane Irene with many runners switching to the half. The downside of missing out on a potentially large BQ just weeks before Boston sign-up must have been tough to take, but this presented an upside.
Think about this opportunity. You have trained for a full marathon, then can only do the half. Can you say “right as rain?” and “prime for a huge PB?” Of course you can, and so did Johnny G, even on this demanding Quebec course.
Now John’s time of 1:22:15 may at first look seem like a good time, but perhaps not a great time. However, the company surrounding his result indicates this was a tough race (or tough conditions or both). His time would have been sub 1:20 on several faster GTA halves. Keeping up with elite women including Ayane Asselfech and Lisa Avery, just a minute behind perennial top master Nelson Ndereva, John has proven his equal now to some of the other fast dudes known to frequent Ajax Running Free. Yours truly recently chased Ayane around the 20 Valley Half last month, passing her with only a few km’s left to go.
John is about to rewrite and add a few new PB’s to his record books. And so are many more runners who have chosen to train out of Ajax Running Free. There just isn’t a better setting for improving performance and achieving excellence for the common runner. Come out and see for yourself.