Rhys Boorman described his excellent top three finish in the Hastings Half Marathon as his finest distance running achievement.
The Hastings Athletic Club talent was the leading local and UK runner in Sunday’s race after completing the undulating 13.1-mile course in a time of 1:12.48.
He said: “It’s my proudest achievement. I’m ecstatic. My top aim was third, but my realistic aim was top five.”
Boorman was lying fifth after the first three miles, but overhauled clubmate Daniel Anderson roughly halfway up the long uphill Queensway stretch before moving up to third by passing Tom Collins (Medway & Maidstone AC) near Hastings Academy in the ninth mile.
He pulled away from Collins over the downhill stretch into the Old Town and along the seafront back to the finish, crossing the line some 57 seconds ahead of the fourth place finisher.
“I was making sure I didn’t go off too fast because I did that last year and killed myself,” continued Boorman, son of Hastings Borough Council’s marketing and major projects manager Kevin Boorman. “I’m quite strong on the hills and kicked on up Queensway.”
The 23-year-old Boorman, who lives in Old London Road, is very dedicated to his running and has improved massively of late. Last year he finished 23rd in a time six minutes and 40 seconds slower than he managed on Sunday, and in recent weeks he has won the Eastbourne Half Marathon and finished 13th (out of more than 13,000 runners) in the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon.
“Last year wasn’t a good race,” Boorman added. “But after doing so well this year I thought I could take five minutes off my PB (for the course) and I think I took six minutes off it.”
Asked what he put his marked improvement down to, Boorman said: “Consistent coaching. I was just doing my own training at uni (en route to a degree in sports science) last year and now I’m training four or five days a week with Peter Baker at Hastings AC.”
Boorman, who represented Sussex at the Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships in Birmingham the previous weekend, believes he could break the 70-minute barrier within a couple of years if he increases his mileage.
He has no plans to step up to the full marathon, however, having spent six months sidelined by injury after previously attempting the 26-mile distance when he was 18.
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