Our own Andrew Grech’s Winning Marathon Experience

Posted by Mellieha AC 9th March 2015 0 Comment 1309 views

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As on Sunday, the wind blew and blew, MAC’s own flag waved highly and then higher as Andrew Grech finished the first Maltese Marathoner on the day with another personal best time of 2:32:34, thus now winning all local road races from 5km to 42.1km.

MAC’s flag is flying high and we are very happy to live in its shade.

 

Andrew, finally you did it, as you placed the first Maltese in the Malta Marathon 2015.  How does this compare to all the other victories in other distances?

Yes, I finally broke this taboo and I think it’s the best victory so far in many terms.  First of all, it was the only distance that I was still looking for a win, and secondly I banished last year’s memories, where I was leading with six minutes with just 1 kilometre to go, but dehydration knocked me down.  Also, I was very close to not even make it on the starting line as two days before I was going through a twenty-four hour bug.

I am also very pleased with the way I won it.  I paced comfortably till the 37th kilometre and then notched up my pace in the last 5 kilometres.

 

You’ve just mentioned a 24 hour bug.  What was it exactly? 

Everything was going on plan, but then on Friday I went down with a virus.  It felt shattered when originally I was advised to let such a day pass on since I had a high temperature.  On Saturday afternoon I got tested by both the Malta Olympic Committee Doctor and our club’s doctor Dr Joëlle Agius again, and I was given the go-ahead.  It was a responsible decision that I will cherish forever.

 

Going slightly further back, you were part of a training camp with the Malta team at Font Romeu, France.  How was it?

It was a very fruitful training camp.  We were a good group of middle and long-distance runners and we did intense double-sessions on most days at an altitude of 1,800 metres above sea level.  Although we hailed from different clubs, we were in very good spirits and gained the maximum benefit from such a training camp.

 

You already mentioned last year’s disappointing second-place finish after leading by so much, and ended needing a drip intervention.  How much did this affect you psychologically?

Last year’s tactic went to perfection till the 41st kilometre.  This year, I wanted to play safer and followed my coach Has Kesra’s instructions to the dot.  It worked perfectly.

 

We didn’t have ideal conditions for the race.  Were there any phases of the race where you had to dig even deeper?

We had winds coming from all directions, so it wouldn’t have been wise to push in order to get a specific time.  My target for the day was to finish as the first Maltese.

 

Finally, we are halfway through the season.  What’s next after this?

We now move to another phase of training, and will start focusing more on speed rather than endurance.  We will have track races where the next target is qualification to the Games of the Small States of Europe in Reykjavik, Iceland and the European Team Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.

I want to also thank my family and MAC’s coach Has Kesra, MAC’s committee, MOC for the training camp and my sponsors Nanox Nutriceuticals, Nyoo Destination Wellness, Medcomms Limited, Eurosport B’Kara, Malta Challenge Marathon and Kristal Water.

 

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