Two marathons left in Bolton’s quest to finish majors series

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Simon Bolton celebrates after completing the Tokyo Marathon.

STRATFORD AC’s Simon Bolton continued his quest to complete all six races in the World Marathon Majors series by tackling the 13th Tokyo Marathon, report by David Jones.

With Chicago, London, New York and now Tokyo completed in just two years, he just needs Boston and Berlin to complete the set.

Low temperatures and persistent rain put a slight damper on the celebratory aspect of the Tokyo Marathon, but it didn’t harm the runners’ overall performances.

Bolton’s time of 3:40.33 was just shy of his marks from London last year and New York in 2017.

He finished just outside the top 20 per cent of finishers and he was 138th out of 451 finishers from Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Bolton was delighted to finish the race in one piece as he had only four weeks to train due to a stress fracture in his foot and, not wanting to ramp up the mileage too quickly, he felt he had dramatically undertrained.

The start of the race brought the usual combination of pre-marathon excitement and nerves, but this time the pouring rain was added to the equation.

He managed a nice even pace for the first 20 miles, with his three 5km splits from 5-15km all within just three seconds of each other.

He then decided to tactically back off for the remainder of the race to prevent a complete breakdown.

Bolton said: “The rain didn’t stop, although, like my pace, it eased towards the end.

“Given the weather, the support from the spectators was brilliant, with decent crowds along the whole course.

“I arrived at the finish line wet and cold but was delighted at coming in at a respectable time.

“It was not my fastest marathon by a long way but perhaps my proudest, given the sheer determination I needed to get round it.”

The overall winner, Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese, clocked the event’s second-best time ever (2:04:48) and a record 38,000 runners participated.