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


John Hanlon, Orion Harriers

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!]