Leamington C &AC’s Andy Savery knocked ten minutes off his best time from five years ago to record 2hr 25min 32sec at the Frankfurt Marathon.
The race was won by Kenyan Mark Kiptoo in 2:06:49 but Savery’s time was good enough for 25th overall and third British athlete. It also places him 38th in the UK rankings for 2014.
Savery, who had deliberately taken a step back from marathon running to work on his speed over shorter distances, admitted his pre-race strategy was quickly ditched as he struggled his way through the 15,000-strong field
However, he said that apart from an onset of cramp, his race panned out pretty smoothly.
“The start was very congested and it took me about 5k to gradually work my way up to the right group, which was one being paced for about five of the elite African women,” said Savery.
“They were going a bit quicker than my target pace but it was comfortable enough and there was no alternative group behind so I just went with it - first 10k in 33:55, second 10k in 33:44, passing halfway in 71:23.
“At about 25k the pace quickened a little and I came off the group, instead working together with a couple of German guys who did the same.
“I sensed we were slowing just before 30k so decided this was the point to make my push for the finish.
“Although slowing down relative to previous miles, I was picking off runners one-by-one as the original group up ahead fell apart.
“This was good for morale and deluded me into thinking I was still going well.
“From about 35k I had jabs of cramp, so from there just ran it in as quickly the legs would allow.”
Savery had little time to savour his achievement, however, with his flight home leaving at 4.30pm that afternoon.
Spa Striders’ Patrick Recker finished in 4:53:47.