Singapore-based American marathoner, Russell Ericksen, won the 42km Men’s category in the 2014 Sundown Marathon yesterday morning. The 30-year-old, who is a researcher at A-Star, clocked a time of three hours and three seconds in the night race, which drew 9,000 participants in the Full Marathon category.
Here is what Russell said about his amazing run.
What are your comments on your win?
I was expecting Alex (Ong) to overtake me during the last 10 kilometres (km) and if he did, I would’ve have cheered him on since we’ve finished so closely in the past couple of years – he completely deserves it. I would’ve accepted that it just wasn’t my year. But luckily I was able to push as much as my body allowed me to – and it was enough to get across the line first.
How did you run your race?
Today I was more concerned about putting in a good time in the lead up to my next project, the Gold Coast marathon in Australia. It’s hard to put in such efforts during normal training.
After a few kms, I realized there was about three or four of us at the front, and I could tell that the others were breathing a bit heavier than me so my goal was to make sure that I didn’t go out too fast and to just hold a 4:05-4:10 pace.
By 21km, the others dropped behind just slightly. I was just trying to hold that pace, and if they did catch back up, I would try and stay with them. Luckily, even though I slowed up at around 30km, I was able to hold them off until the end.
What are your comments on the “killer” Benjamin Sheares (BS) bridge?
This is comparable to some of the toughest hills on other courses I’ve done. These include the Heartbreak Hill in the Boston Marathon and the Fifth Avenue Hill leading up to Central Park in the New York Marathon
Share with us, your most memorable moment of the race?
It was probably coming down the BS bridge. I was going so slowly up the bridge I felt that if someone was going to overtake me, it would probably be there. When no one did, I then realized that winning was actually in my sights.
And what was the most difficult part of the run?
The weather still gets to me – I’m just not designed for this (hot and humid) climate. My times overseas are 30 minutes faster, so it’s a completely different set of challenges. Usually my muscles can handle it – it’s the heat exhaustion that slows me down.
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Russell also enjoys playing popular smartphone game 2048 and recently managed to get the 8192 tile. For his winning strategy, click here.