Bill Fleury ran the Fidelity two-mile races in September which were the beginning of his preparations for next week’s killer run, the Cayman Islands Intertrust Marathon.
Training has gone well for Fleury and the daunting task of 26.2 miles of the marathon, the second half probably in intense heat, now seems less intimidating.
It is organised by Kelly Holding, is on 2 December and over 1.200 entrants are guaranteed for the full marathon, half and four-person relay categories.
Fleury ran last year’s 2011 Cayman half in 1 hour 53 minutes and feels fit enough to go round the course from Breezes by the Bay on the waterfront to Prospect Point and back twice this year.
“Thankfully I have been substantially able to follow the Hal Higgdon “novice 2” plan I pulled off the Internet,” Fleury said. “There have been a few missed runs, but I have been doing at least 80 per cent of the recommended weekly mileage and got in all my long runs.
“I’ve done 20 miles now twice, and 19-ish twice as well, so my old body is now somewhat used to the physical abuse and I feel like if I can make it to 20 miles I can crawl the rest of the way to Breezes.”
Fleury did the To Hell and Back 10k on Sunday and had a heavenly time. “It was a gorgeous morning, great pack of runners and I felt pretty good. I was hoping for 52 minutes or better and came in 49:20.
“I’m still just following the plan – shorter runs three or four days a week. I have to do an eight-mile this weekend and that’s the longest one until marathon day.
“I really just want to avoid spraining my ankle at this point. I’m hoping to take advantage of the Bliss runners clinic this weekend and my weekly massage at Cayman Rehab so that I don’t have any show-stopping aches on race day.”
He hopes now not just to finish but to get a respectable time.
“A bit of debate is going on in my head on this. Based on my Halloween 10-10-10 (19 mile) run time of 2:54ish, I have a chance theoretically of breaking four hours if I have a good marathon day.
“In reality though based on my other training runs, I should come in at about 4:25. The inner kid in me wants to run for the four hour mark, but there is risk of ‘blowing up’ in the process and my marathon coach Barb Wilson (13 marathons) counsels an easy maintainable pace from start to finish, including walking through water stations.
“If you see me laying in the bushes by Walkers Road the next morning, you’ll know which way I tried to play it!”
Fleury’s excitement is building now most of the hard preparation is done and he knows exactly how his post-race celebrations will go.
“Pathetically, I know exactly that I hope to be standing beside the free beer barrel at the finish – if there is any left by the time I straggle in – to enjoy a can or two along with some high-fives with the other runners.
“Next on the agenda will be a ridiculously large and filling brunch with my family, then a nap, and finally coach Barb says to try to keep moving around as much as possible or my knees may never bend again.”
On a more serious note, Fleury was disappointed for friends who went to New York last month but could not race because of Hurricane Sandy’s passing.
“My thoughts go out to the people in New York affected by Sandy and on a smaller scale a number of our friends from Cayman who went up for the marathon there to find it was cancelled at the last minute.
“I’m thankful hurricane season is almost over safely in Cayman and also God’s willing our marathon won’t be cancelled.”