After New York Nicholas Clark eyes Disney World Marathon
BY DEAN GREENAWAY
In his fourth race, Nicholas Clark completed the recent New York Marathon
in his second best time ever, finishing in 3 hours, 52 minutes and 08
seconds. With 34,000 participants, New York was in stark contrast to his
first marathon in 1991 in Botswana, which had 150 competitors.
"The atmosphere is just amazing having 34,000 people running the event. The
organization is huge and the numbers of people on the street means it's a
crescendo of noise from start to finish," Clark said Monday reflecting on
the Nov 2 race. "You notice the miles just fly past because the crowd is
cheering you on with their enthusiastic cheering."
In his New York debut, Clark said he knew the course was harder than those
he ran before including the Disney World Marathon which he has done twice.
"New York itself had a reputation of being a tough event," said Clark who
set a goal of completing the 26.2 mines of pavement in under 4 hours. "I
was really pleased to finish in 3:52. Four hours is sort of the mental
barrier to show you are a runner rather than someone who just enjoys running."
Clarke wasn't even a runner in High School or College. He took up distance
running in his 20s with the Hash House Harriers, a world wide buddy group.
One of his hash friends suggested going on a longer run and the seeds were
planted to eventually do the marathon. When he came to the BVI, Clark said
long distance running was more difficult. Three summers ago, Clark saw an
ad about the Disney World marathon. While inquiring, he was told there were
only 150 places left then decided to enter, merely six months before the
race. "After I made the commitment, I decided I had to go through a
training program and do it. Since I had so much fun doing that and the
family enjoyed their Disney World vacation, we decided I'd do some more,"
Clark said of the event where he had a personal best 3:40 in his last race
Training for marathons on Tortola posed three challenges for Clark-heat,
limited flat land and boredom doing the same route. "I get to see a lot of
East End in the mornings," said Clark who did a 20 miler three weeks before
New York. "From Hodges Creek Marina, I went to Beef Island Bridge and
that's five miles round trip. From there, I went to the West End Dock which
was another 15 miles and that took me under three hours including the
hills. In doing that, I knew hopefully, I'd do a good time in New York."
Clark said the biggest challenge in New York was to keep going when the
terrain was getting a bit difficult including quite a gentle rise at mile
23. "But, there are so many people cheering and shouting that while you
might stop for a minute and walk a little, there's so many people
encouraging you to keep going that you have to get back on it and do it
again." Clark will compete in his third Disney World marathon in January.
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