Are you inspired by Alex Vero's ambitions, or slightly insulted?

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06/05/2008 at 18:22

Last weeks AW featured an article about Tom Bedford - son of the legendary Dave, who has set himself the target of running a 2:25 marathon:

Firstly he's bet various family and friends to the tune of £8k that he can do it (including dad £2.5K)

Secondly he hasn't taken any significant exercise for three years, though back in 2005 he ran 8:54 fr the 3000m steeplechase

Thirdly he's well over his best weight at 12 stone

and fourthly he's set himself a target of three years to achieve it..

I think his chances of achieving his goal are pretty realistic  (he's aged 24)- certainly more so than Alex's ever were!

 I hope that all those people who were so inspired by Alex's futile efforts will be equally motivated by the younger Bedford's efforts.

06/05/2008 at 18:32

Interesting Tom

I lurk here but feel compelled to post here, i think its pretty realistic as well. Besides having youth on his side  he hopefully has the Bedford genes, Bedford senior was a pretty impressive runner from what i've read and seen

06/05/2008 at 19:51
Tom,

Sounds like a intresting bet I hope he does it.
07/05/2008 at 16:02

Dave Bedford was one of the greats - not many were able to win the junior and senior cross country titles on the same afternoon - his training was amazing, I well remember Ilford AC Newman Sargeant (RIP) attempting to emulate the 200 mile weeks as part of a Todays Runners article probably about 10-12 years ago.

Tom Bedford has never achieved the greatness of his Dad - but to be honest 2:25 should not be beyond him  based on his times as a junior.

Unfortunately Tom was one of a group of youngsters, Ryan Mcloud included that have not made the cross over to the senior ranks to achieve what their parents did.

 know it seems to be fashionable on here to deride Alex's attempts, but I still believe that there are a lot of people on here that wouldn't say know to his times even now.

07/05/2008 at 16:19
Ron Hill's son was a decent runner, as was Chris Brasher's lad Hugh and the twin girls and son of Bruce Tulloh. It can't be easy following in the footsteps of a famous runner. I pity Paula's daughter when she lines up for her first cross country race.
07/05/2008 at 17:16

Grendel, Alex has yet to prove his times though. It's all well and good saying "I had a test that says I'm capable of running 2.30", he still has to run that time! If I'm not mistaken his PB is around 2.58?

In relation to your point about Boston paininthefoot. Different Olympic Councils have different rules for qualification. For example I think the UK has an A standard of 2:11 where a lot of countries have the A standard of 2:15. The Kenyans may have accepted the qualifying time of their athlete based on his Chicago marathon. As they have so many runners reaching the standard they can then pick and choose the team they think is strongest. This is just a guess on my part but the list of courses set out can be found here

07/05/2008 at 22:18
I'm looking forward to racing Alex in Amsterdam ; - )
11/05/2008 at 01:40
If Tom bothers to train for it he'll destroy it.

He was bet £50 once as to whether he could beat a club-member at the National XC.

Tom hadn't run properly for a good year and was well out of shape and in his first few races was finishing well off the pace in the met. league.

He ended up finishing 15th in the National less than a month later beating his team mate who thought his money was safe by something like 45 places.

Tom is one of the great talents around. If he can convince himself to train seriously (and the bet will likely do it), I very seriously wouldn't be surprised to see him drop a sub 2:20 and maybe 2:15.

Grendel- I'd give Ryan time. If you saw his first leg at the 6 stage national road relays where he demolished a group of top distance runners you'd see that he's still around and running well. Picked up a freak injury this year but will be back soon and still has a lot of time to catch up to where his dad was.
21/05/2008 at 19:01
Interesting.

Week 5 of Tom Bedford's training has included on Thursday...

3mile Tempo run @ 5.20mile pace

His base level of fitness having done almost nothing for a couple of years still has him running 3 miles at a tempo pace faster than Alex's fastest 5k.

That's the sort of ability needed to run 2:15.
22/05/2008 at 18:04
HH - point well made.
22/05/2008 at 20:22
HH - Where did you find out about his training? I'm interested to see how he does.
23/05/2008 at 14:35

Ton Bedford has got a blog on realbuzz.   Blimey faced with losing 10 grand I think even I'd manage sub 2:25

23/05/2008 at 18:20
Sorry for not posting the link!

Notably adroit in his words and I personally think the blog is good reading. Explaining a lot of the basics about training whilst at the same time trying to integrate it into his busy life.

I really hope that when he does run it though that he will carry on and try and continue to improve. The level this guy could run at is just astronomical.
24/05/2008 at 08:20
2:25 would have given him top 35 this year christ is that how far the standards have fallen now, good luck to him, 2:25 is such a mediocre time goal for such a vast talent, but realistically he will never achieve the great heights of his father, the likes of Ovett and Coe were world record holders by the age of 23  whilst Cram was Wrold Champion and  had already developed into world class runners, check out youtube look up Ovett Coe etc and marvel at real runners.
25/05/2008 at 22:30

Agree about Ovett,Coe,Cram etc-not to mention so many others from that era-it now seems like another world.

Nevertheless,I think Tom Bedford (as long as he avoids injury) is a "shoe in" to win his bet.With his background as a junior,his genes and his age,sub 2.25 should be comfortably within his grasp.

It's a little unfair to contrast him with Alex Vero.The latter had never reached a comparable level and most importantly,was that much older.Unless you're blessed with the inherent talent of a Martin Rees or a Keith Anderson,30 plus is much too old to start thinking about reaching international level.

Reading Tom's blog does give me a "reality check" on a self-deluding fantasy I (and maybe other veteran runners who either started running-or returned to it after a long break,-in our 40's) have indulged in.Namely,that if only I could turn the clock back and be 19 again,I would dedicate myself to training and reach as far as my potential would allow me.Of course,if it were possible to be 19 again,running 60 plus weeks would be the last thing I would do-there are so many other much more enticing possibilities at that age!

Unless you could realistically aspire to reaching elite level,why would any sensible 19 year old forego clubbing,socialising etc etc to bang-out a 60 minute interval session or a 2 hour tempo run ?

At 49,being able to do those things is a wonderful escape from reality and a way of keeping age at bay (or at least hoping you are)but if I really was 19 again...

26/05/2008 at 17:17

 would just like to say this thread has been a very interesting read over the course of the day. as to been inspired or insulted i have to neither. to me he'is just another film maker trying to sell his product in a cut throat buisness any angle he can come up with to help with that sell has got to be commended if it work's . the fact that there has been so much debate for and against on this thread has shown to any tv companie's that there is an interest in it so hopefully it will be shown on tv. i will be looking out for it

26/05/2008 at 22:36
David- As a 20 year old lad banging out 60 mile weeks I still manage to keep a fairly active social life! In fact have trouble with the rest of my friends who don't run not being able to go out as they're busy working whilst I've generally scheduled my work and running so as I have plenty of time.

Furthermore and something that I think is key, you can have a great deal of socialising whilst training and with the people you train with! In my last year of 6th form I did almost nothing with my friends at school but spent many fun evenings with the lads from training on our infamous nights out (helped they were all a bit older, like 21-26!). Even looked forward to going down the track because there was always great banter and we had a fun time! Running 8 x km off 2 minutes is not fun! Running 8 x km with 2 minutes joking, teasing and challenging each other inbetween was a lot of fun!

At uni now the steady runs are still fun with lots of chatter and plenty of social events arranged as well!

"It's a little unfair to contrast him with Alex Vero.The latter had never reached a comparable level and most importantly,was that much older." - Agree totally. and yet Vero thought he could run over ten minutes faster and wanted to be taken seriously.

More interesting if Tom actually puts the work in is seeing just how close he is to Ben. Ben is a massively talented athlete who has put a lot of work in over the years but will be fascinating to see how close Tom can run him.
26/05/2008 at 23:30
I think it is a little inspiring in that if he can get close to his goals, then I can achieve my slightly more modest goals.

I'm aiming to do the Rotary Shakespeare Half Marathon next year. My main aim is to get under 1.30 and I would like to get near 1.20. I won't know how realistic this is until I start training in a couple of months time. I've never been unfit (due to always playing sports) but i've never trained properly for running, I just used to use it to keep fit and cos i liked it (see profile for what I used to do). Did not run at all last year (due to basketball knee injury) but did the sports relief 3 mile in 20.16 on one run a week. I don't plan to go into the half marathon cold turkey. I plan to do one if not two 10km before the half marathon.

So what you all think? Are my goals realistic or am I another Alex, lol?
27/05/2008 at 21:37

Good points "HH".

I shouldn't have generalised:there are clearly many young runners like yourself who love training as much as I now think I would if I could be 20 again (even though I know that when I actually was 20,I couldn't be bothered !).

It's great to see it and hopefully you can soon drop the "hobbling" prefix (which I presume means you're injured at the moment).

With regard to Tom Bedford,it will be interesting to see if he can catch up with his peers again,after 2 or so years out of training.If so,that will give a lot of encouragement to other young runners who have maybe let things slide for a while.

29/05/2008 at 17:12
mmmm...marmite wrote (see)
I'm looking forward to racing Alex in Amsterdam ; - )


I've just entered as well, however, it's my first week back of training since being injured and I'm an overweight underachiever so you've no worries  See you in Holland matey

Cheers Pug

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