On Sunday 7 April, our ASICS Target 26.2 runners took to the boulevards of Paris in the culmination of our spring marathon training project. Their goal? To run their best ever 26.2 miles at the Paris Marathon.
Whittled down from over 1,700 applications, and following a tough Boot Camp selection day and public voting at the end of last year, our five runners Mel, Adrian, Steve, Alex and Sarah won one of five coveted spots on the ASICS Target 26.2 team – and that was just the beginning of a very special journey, for them and us alike.
Kitted out head to toe in ASICS gear and supported by coaches Sam Murphy and Steve Smythe plus a hit squad of physiotherapy, nutrition and sports psychology ASICS Pro Team experts, our five runners diligently trained in one of toughest UK winters, falling in ditches, slipping on ice and trying hard to stick to the nutrition and training plans devised by our experts.
16 weeks on, one last question remains: how did they do?
New PB: 3:29. Previous best: 3:44
“The last four months have been nothing short of phenomenal. I always thought I was a runner before I did this, but I was overweight, I always started off too fast and I couldn’t run a negative split. To actually run for all the right reasons and to eat the rights foods, I’ll never be the same again.”
New PB: 2:53. Previous best: 3:06
“I don’t think the race could have gone any better really. I paced it well, I ran my target and I was strong at the end. This is my seventh marathon and in every single marathon up until this one I’ve had to walk in the final stages at some point. But I ran the whole way in this one.”
PB: 4:21 in her first marathon
“Crossing the line and seeing everyone standing there has been the best bit. It’s been a really amazing experience and it feels like such an achievement. I feel like a runner now, even though I’ve got all my toenails. Though I did get to wear a bin bag at the beginning of the race!”
New PB: 3:25. Previous best: 3:45
“The training speaks for itself: I was 20 minutes under my previous marathon time and I was 10 minutes under target and it was a comfortable marathon, which I never thought was possible. The whole experience from beginning to end has been absolutely fantastic.”
A knee injury sadly meant Steve could not run
“It’s been really disappointing not to compete but the atmosphere’s been amazing. It’s actually the first marathon I’ve been to watch as well so it’s been a scouting trip for my next one. Going forward my next target is hopefully going to be an autumn marathon, and definitely a marathon in the spring. Just as soon as I get my knee sorted out and get back out running!”
Share their success in your marathon
Follow in the speedy footsteps of our fab five in our Target 26.2 hub page where you’ll find loads of advice from our coaches and experts. Don’t miss:
- Plus, don’t miss all the videos from the project charting our runners’ progress, from Bootcamp and Store Day at the start of their journey, to Training Day 1, Training Day 2 and the big day itself – Race Day - coming very soon!