SUNDERLAND Harrier Steven Duffy is determined to build on a successful first marathon – with his sights set on next April’s London Marathon.
The 27-year-old, from Washington, comfortably achieved the qualifying time for London by running the Edinburgh Marathon in 2hrs 50min 50sec, to finish a creditable 58th overall and 23rd in his category.
Duffy said: “I was absolutely delighted with my time. It was my first marathon and I really didn’t know what to expect. I was running at 2:48:00 pace up until 22 miles where I lost a few seconds a mile.
“There was a head wind from five to 17 miles which may have cost me a little, but the most important thing is next year in London I can target a faster time.
The training was tough but it all came together on the day.
“I also raised over £800 for Henry Dancer Days Charity and would like to thank my family and friends for their support of these past few tough months.”
The Edinburgh race was the culmination of an impressive series of performances, including first place in January’s Newcastle parkrun 5k, eighth place in the Carlisle 10k Resolution Run and a respectable 10th in the Liversedge half-marathon, renowned as one of the toughest in Britain, competing alongside clubmate Paul Collins.
The highlight came with a 30-second success in the Lightwater Valley 10k multi-terrain challenge, which followed a second-place finish in the Middlesbrough parkrun 5k in 16.37.
Duffy added: “I want to use the strength I’ve built up and get back onto the track to do speed work. I am aiming at a 5K and half-marathon PB before starting London training.
“I am entered into the Darlington 10K in August, the BUPA Great North Run in September and North Yorkshire 10K in October so far.”