Better known as a track runner, Herne Hill Harriers middle distance star Fiona de Mauny became a longer distance star too last Sunday when winning the women’s race at the Grand Brighton Half Marathon.
Track specialist de Mauny demonstrated superb road racing form as she sliced nearly five minutes from her previous official best time for the 13.1 miles as she took the win as she took the lead with around a mile to go to stride home along the seafront in 80:25.
The women’s V35 World Masters 800m gold medallist and 1500m silver medallist from last year’s championships in Malaga overhauled local longer distance racer Emily Proto in the closing stages of the race, which has been a target this winter after a decision was made to eschew indoor track racing and focus on building an endurance base before the summer season.
De Mauny has incorporated some very strong long runs and mainly longer sessions than in recent past winters, which has facilitated a good leap forward at the 10km and half marathon distances on the road.
Of her race win in Brighton, de Mauny says “I never expected it. I was fifth at the turnaround point at three miles. I gradually worked my way through the field and it felt amazing to cross the finish line first.”
“The race is longer than I’m used to, but I run well on the road if I can get into a rhythm.”
“I just focus on keeping on doing the same thing – one foot in front of the other.”
“It’s all about finding the right pace and getting into that rhythm so I can minimise the losses when it gets tough.”
Now after a few easy days recovery time it will soon be a return to the shorter, faster and more intense sessions on and off the track in preparation for racing at 400m, 800m and 1500m at the European Masters Championship in Venice at the end of this summer.
Winter training is ticked off and done.