John Hanlon, veteran of 28 marathons, talks about his journey as a runner and trainer


SV client and Orion Harrier, John Hanlon, writes about his marathon experiences...

This year’s London Marathon will be my 28th marathon in total and 13th London.

I did my first marathon (London) in 1995. I didn’t know much at all about how to train properly, hydration, nutrition or pace and it showed in my eventual time. I went off too fast, hit the wall at 16 miles struggled from there with a fair bit of walking and finished in 4hrs 21 mins.

Fast forward a few years to 2005 and a number of marathons around the world and I joined Orion Harriers running club.

I’d previously always run solo and didn’t really show much improvement in my marathon times with all outside 4 hours. Joining a running club made such a difference as you start to benefit from running with groups and sharing experiences.

So, on my 16th marathon, Amsterdam 2007, I finally broke 4 hours with a time of 3hrs 53 mins.

At this point I started leading marathons groups with the aim to help runners with their training regime and maybe hit their time targets.

My next 7 or 8 marathons were all under 4 hours with my PB of 3hrs 43 mins set in Toronto 2009.

Every spring since 2008 I’ve led a marathon group for Orion Harriers and seen the aspirations of many runners, including myself, achieved with a smile.

​Check out John's amazing video from this year's marathon. [Jess has a cameo around the 6m30s mark!]

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