Purdue’s race plan pays off in London

By Farnham Herald in Athletics

CHARLOTTE Purdue was the best-placed Briton in the women’s marathon at the World Championships last weekend.

The Aldershot, Farnham & District runner, competing in her first major global championship and running the distance for only the fourth time, finished an impressive 13th in 2hrs 29mins 48secs.

Kenyan-born Rose Chelimo, running for Bahrain, took gold, ahead of two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat and American Amy Cragg.

Purdue, who went 25 seconds quicker earlier this year on a less demanding course around the capital, had good reason to be upbeat.

“I finished strong and I felt great, so I’m really happy with how the race went,” she said.

“I had my watch on and I knew what times people ahead of me were running and I just knew it was too fast at the start.

“But it’s a marathon, not a 10km, so I had to hold back and I knew they would come back to me. It paid off in the end and I’m really happy.

“The course was tougher than I expected, it was very twisty and the hill was quite significant, especially on the last lap.

“I’m learning to follow my own race plan. It’s easy to get carried away in a championship race because you can see the front and you want to be there, but a marathon is a marathon for a reason, otherwise I’d be doing a 10km.”

Purdue is now eyeing next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, an event where she made her senior debut in 2010, finishing fourth and sixth in the 10,000m and 5,000m respectively.

“I’ve got to be selected first, but it’s my next target,” she added.

“I’ve done two marathons back to back now and I just need to pace myself a bit because I’m only 26 and I’ve hopefully got a long career ahead of me. I don’t want to burn out too quickly.

“This was a lot different to a normal marathon. The London Marathon you’re against the clock and you don’t really have that many people to race, whereas this was a proper race, which I love.”

Fellow British athlete Aly Dixon led the race up until the final nine miles when she was caught by the pack. The 38-year-old Sunderland runner eventually finished 18th in 2-31-36.

Purdue told BBC Sport. “When I caught Aly, I gave her encouragement. There was also a British guy shouting at me ‘come on Aly Dixon.’ He kept doing it. But apart from that, the crowd were great.”

• Athletics followers can help the next generation of young British athletes by getting involved in SportsAid Week this September with London 2012 long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford. Find out more by visitingwww.sportsaid.org. uk/sportsaidweek

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