Super vet, Jo Thompson, fresh from her record breaking run in the Dublin Marathon has now set her sights on eclipsing the time set by Marathon legend Joan Benoit Samuelson in Chicago last month. The former Great Britain international and Team Bath athlete, who also celebrated her 52nd birthday this weekend, was delighted with her 2.52 33 British W50 record last week but now hopes to run a sub 2.50 marathon next year.
Compared to Joan Benoit Samuelson, who at the age of 53 recently ran an impressive 2.47.50 in Chicago, Thompson is a novice when it comes to marathon running, only making her marathon debut in Edinburgh earlier this year where she finished a creditable 5th in 3.02.44. “ I always enjoyed racing the shorter distances earlier in my running career and have resisted the temptation to run a marathon but I had a good run at the Bath Half Marathon in the spring so I entered Edinburgh.” Thompson narrowly failed to break the three hour mark there but felt confident that she could break that barrier at the second attempt. “It was very hot in Edinburgh and, even though I went off too fast, I finished strongly which made me believe that, with better preparation, I could break three hours.”
A spell in France training at altitude in the late summer, followed by some impressive finishes at the Cardiff 10k and the Great North Run meant that the Bath personal trainer went to Dublin in confident mood. “I’ve been close to breaking the W50 UK records from 5km to Half Marathon this year but hadn’t really thought about breaking the Marathon record.” But that’s just what Thompson did in Dublin, taking more than ten minutes off her personal best and bettering Vicki Perry’s time set in London last year by 43 seconds.
Thompson would like to run in London and possibly Berlin next year and takes inspiration from the times run by Benoit Samuelson. “ Joan’s a marathon legend and to better her age group time is one of my goals next year. I ran against her as a veteran in the Tufts 10k in Boston in 2004 and she just beat me but like her I think I have it in me to run 2.46 - 2.47 with more marathon experience.”
Before her next marathon outing, Thompson is looking to better more W50 records. “I’m targetting Paula Fudge’s half marathon time of 79.39 at Bath next spring. It would be great to do that in my home town and the 5k and 10k are also in within my range with more speed work.”
Split Times 10km 13.1m 30km Finish
39.40 85.00 2:01:35 2:52:33 Super vet, Jo Thompson,