Sport

Japan journey proves a testing one for Threlfall

By Andrew Johnston

THE Lake Biwa marathon in Japan was completely different to how Brady Threlfall had prepared for it.

From a summer of regular 40 degree days back home, this course was wet and cold.

As the wind picked up by the halfway point of the marathon when — seemingly for the first time in his marathon running career — Threlfall hit trouble.

‘‘From around 27km my quads were fatigued, which was something new for me,’’ the Echuca runner said.

‘‘I was finding it hard to get lift out of them and, combined with the headwind, it really impacted my pace.’’

This was unexpected after the way the race started.

While the weather was a constant battle, in the early stages it was something of an advantage.

‘‘We had a nice tailwind for the first 15km and I found myself in a good group feeling comfortable,’’ he said.

‘‘We ran solidly for the first 15km, before crossing the bridge that took us in the opposite to the halfway point, straight into a headwind which immediately starts to fatigue you.’’

Threlfall hit the halfway point in 1.09:34 and conceded that it wouldn’t be his day.

‘‘I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make a PB time. Running the final 15km into the headwind was too big of an ask.

‘‘At that point, it was about running the best time I could.’’

With fatigue setting in as he hit the final 15km stretch, Threlfall pushed on.

‘‘It was pretty tough and I knew it would be,’’ he said.

‘‘The final 15 became about my frame of mind. I stayed positive and relaxed to come home reasonably strong.’’

The time was 2.21, roughly two minutes outside his personal best.

But by no means was Threlfall disappointed.

‘‘There’s much more to the story than the finishing time,’’ he said.

‘‘Although I was after a much quicker finish, I was really pleased with my result and the way I implemented my race plan. I was the fifth fastest seeded Australian in the race and came in second, behind Julian Spence in 2:14.

‘‘At the halfway mark I was in 90th position overall and finished 57th which shows although my pace was a bit slower I was stronger than a lot of people around me.’’

Threlfall said his pre-race decision to not wear a watch had been key in the dying stages.

‘‘With how the race was playing out, my mentality would have been negative looking at the splits later in the race if I’d known my times,’’ he said.

‘‘Instead, I could concentrate on being relaxed and embracing the pain which helped me towards the finish.’’