Hogan paced himself perfectly

One of the most improved runners on
the Cayman scene is Mark Hogan who came second in the marathon last month in
just under three hours. Recently married and with wife Amber expecting their
first child in March, maybe he took the opportunity to train hard for
December’s 26.2 mile race because sleep deprivation is going to be a factor in
race preparations in the future.

Hogan has always been one of the
top 10 runners on the island but never really figured for a podium place until
he focused on more serious training recently. Well it certainly paid off,
finishing in 2 hours 59 minutes and 23 seconds, seven minutes after defending
champion Steve Speirs retained his title. Tennis coach Eduardo Torres was

Hogan works in the advertising
department for Cayman Free Press so uses sports as a welcome relief from his
sedentary day life. 

He was pleased that sticking to his
game plan worked. “I knew that if I ran a sub three hours I would be in with a chance
of a podium. The winner of the previous year ran a 2.58 I think so if I could
get below three hours and he ran a similar race it would have been a closer
finish but as it happens he ran an awesome race.

“The guy had personal bests in all
of his distances in 2010 so in hindsight I’m happy with second. Obviously Scott
Brittain, Russell Coleman and the likes from Cayman not participating made way
for me to come in the top three.

“I always knew that Eduardo would
go out quick and slow towards the end. I think he would have been more of a
threat if he had paced himself better. My pacing was exactly where I wanted it
to be for the sub 3 and I managed negative splits too. I was disappointed not
to have beaten sub 3 in New York four weeks previously so this was a great
achievement for me.”

Hogan is aware that extra training
is necessary to get a winning time. “I clocked an average of 45 miles per week
including a long run of 18 miles or more each weekend for about four months of
training in the build up to the marathon.

“To get a winning time, say near to
2.50 that Steve Speirs got this time I would have to increase my mileage and
frequency and I just don’t have that much time and running is not my only

“I also like to play football,
touch rugby, some golf and tennis so like to leave time to enjoy other sports
and, of course, relax and kick back island-style.

“All the training in the world
would never get me near to the times that Scott is capable of. He is just a
natural and has years of experience at running at a great level. Also, more
quality sessions are needed, a better diet which would exclude beer, jager
shots and junk food. All of those are tough to avoid here.”

What are his plans for this
year?  “What with our baby due soon, I
should imagine a lot of sleepless nights!

He ran the Key West Half on Sunday
and will be doing the Cross Island Relay with the British Bulldogs team. “After
that I will be resting for a while and may just get involved in the more social
aspect of running.

“I plan to run the Chicago Marathon
in October so will probably start training for that in June. I would love to do
a sub 3-hour again and I’m confident I can if the training goes well.

“Lots of stretching and yoga once a
week have helped me keep injury free, so fingers crossed I can stay that way,
continue training with the vast experience of runners on the island and run a
good race in Chicago come October.”

The 35-year-old Englishman boxed as
a teenager for a few years and has started going to the D. Dalmain Ebanks gym
to try to recapture his old pugilistic skills.

“I had a few bouts back in the day.
Most of my time in the gym was spend on the pads and not sparring so coming
back to boxing at my age is a bit daunting. It just gives another aspect of
fitness training and is a great workout.

“The trainers at the boxing gym are
great and they have some young stars in the making down there. They have a lot
of experience and the facilities are great too. It will be interesting to see
who will be the next pro to come out of Cayman.”

Well it won’t be you Hogan!

Mark Hogan

Hogan conserved en-ergy in the first half.
Photo: Ron Shillingford