Britain’s top male marathon runner is getting set for his third race over 26.2 miles
Scott Overall’s two previous marathon experiences could hardly have been more different, but he is hoping to use his third attempt in New York next month to gain valuable experience.
The ING New York City Marathon on November 4 will represent Overall’s first 26-miler since he crawled around the Olympic marathon for 61st in tough conditions in August. That was in contrast to his superb debut in Berlin last year when he ran 2:10:55.
Giving himself three easy weeks after his Olympic experience, Overall is faced with a short turnaround for the Big Apple race.
“My legs didn’t feel too bad after the Olympics, probably because I ran pretty slowly!” he said. “I felt pretty good before the three weeks was up, but I gave it three weeks just to make sure. And it’s been going okay.”
Regarding his 2:22:37 in London, which came in temperatures of up to 25C, he said: “I didn’t respect conditions enough. I was in much better shape than I was going into Berlin. Had I gone out a bit slower I think I’d have been okay at the end. If you’d said to me before the race you can run 2:14-2:15 and I can be top 20 I wouldn’t have believed you.”
Overall will therefore use the tougher New York course as something of a learning experience and will try not to make the mistake of starting too quickly.
“I think with New York being quite a hilly course, I’m going to go out quite conservatively and try to run an even split,” said the Blackheath & Bromley AC athlete. “I’m doing it to get some more experience marathon running.”
The 29-year-old is hoping to compete in the Virgin London Marathon in April and the World Championships in Moscow in August, but he is not put off by Jo Pavey’s experience after running in New York last year.
She clocked 2:28:42, but on a flatter course would arguably have run a time to make herself favourite for Olympic selection. She gambled on opting out of the London race in April and narrowly missed out on being picked, although she enjoyed a successful 5000m and 10,000m at the Games instead.
Overall confidently said: “I’ve no idea what the qualifying time will be for the World Championships, but I’m going to be looking to do the London Marathon and I’m looking to run fast there. I’m sure if I don’t do it in New York I can do it in London.”
He has eased back on the mileage compared to his buildup to London.
“With this being a shorter build-up I’m not really focusing on the miles being quite as high,” he said. “I’m focusing on getting some hard workouts done in the week. I’m probably only going to go up to 100 miles a week, if that, and just focus on quality really.”