Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Irish results from the Fukuoka Marathon in Japan

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Irish results from the Fukuoka Marathon in Japan

The Fukuoka Marathon in Japan was held on Sunday the 1st of December and there were two Irish athletes taking part.

Alistair Cragg finally managed to finish a marathon when he ran 2:23, a disappointing time for someone of his talent. As you can see from chart above, at 30 kms he was still on target for a 2:11 Marathon but stomach issues forced him to slow right down over the later stages.

This performance will yet again raise questions about his performance over the marathon distance. Prior to the race, he was yet again talking about breaking the Irish national record of 2:09:15 set by John Treacy. In a recent interview with Feidhlim Kelly, he said..."if I can prove I am one of Ireland's and Europe's greater marathoners I'd love to have the opportunity to race the DCM (Dublin City Marathon), possibly Europeans, and hopefully Rio 2016!".

When Alistair Cragg ran the Fukuoka Marathon in 2011, he failed to finish after going through the half way mark with the leaders in a very fast 1:03:29. This year, he was only 30 seconds behind the leaders and went through half way in 1:04:25. Surely it would have made a lot more sense to run a bit more conservatively and do the first half in 1:06 to 1:07 with an aim to running a 2:12 to 2:14 marathon? He would then have qualified for the European championships and it would have done his reputation a lot of good.

The other Irish interest was Mark Kenneally who represented Ireland in the marathon at the London Olympics. Unfortunately injury issues caught up with him in the last 10 kms and he had to pull out.

Another result of interest was that of citizen runner Yuki Kawauchi who finished 3rd. He became the first Japanese man ever to break 2:10 three times in the same year and the sixth to break 2:10 five times in his career.


Anonymous said...

The article shows the difference between the right and wrong attitude. Cragg expects to turn up and beat John Treacy's marathon record like it's no issue and then yet again flops. Yuri K - citizen runner - works hard and puts the time in and is both honest and aware of his own strengths and weaknesses and accordingly bangs in another cracking time. Cragg is becoming a real pain

Anonymous said...

The article and first comment in particular are very one dimensional and display a lack of empathy at the very least and at worst display an ignorance of the facts. Yes it is true to say that Cragg has promised more than delivered over his career but an athletes career must be judged over the lifetime of that career. Cragg is the current holder of the 3,000m (Indoors), 5,000m and 10,000m Irish records, he has qualified for 3 Olympic Games('04, '08 & '12). In '04 and '08 he qualified for the final of the 5,000m. He has a gold medal from the 2005 European Indoors and narrowly missed out on a medal in the 2006 World Indoors when he finished 4th. His marathon career has for sure been a disappointment to date but lets not forget that Cragg was a supreme athlete on the track and has had a hugely successful collegiate career. At 33 he is hardly over the hill and still has time on his side to nail that 2:10 marathon. Competing for Ireland should come with a health warning, you'll be loved if you're winning but be prepared for the worst if you don't perform or more pertinently appear not to perform.

DLH said...

You criticise Cragg but say hardly anything about Kenneally who clearly was not fit enough to run.
Some objectivity wouldn't go amiss here

Anonymous said...

I agree with the article. I think a slower pace for cragg would have made a lot more sense. No point in boasting about how he can break the record. All that work today counted for nothing.

John Desmond said...

I'd agree that Cragg is a huge talent but there would have been nothing wrong with a more modest target like getting a European Championship qualifying time today. The final result might have been very different.

Anonymous said...

Firstly let me say that cragg is and has been a very talented runner on the track and on the road has also run some great times and races.However I must agree with John on this one.Dont go talking the talk unless you can walk the walk.The marathon is a very tough event and when you feel things are going well it bites you in the ass.he has now run 3 marathons.DNF x2 and 223.after his first in Boston he blamed blisters after 5-10k!He ran 20 in Chicago at 210 pace indicating he has the ability to break JTs record but why not run a solid sub 215 and build on that.It can't be good for his mental outlook on the marathon going forward.I hope he proves me wrong

pat said...

I don't get why everyone is always so tough on Alastair cragg. All he is doing is saying what he would like to achieve in an open honest way. I don't know why there should be such a negative response to him if he fails to achieve that. It must feel very disheartening for him especially with the tiny amount of financial and practical support he receives. Essentially he's the one doing the training and making the huge sacrifices to achieve in athletics surely any disappointment in his performances should be for him to judge and experience. But you'd think the way he is judged sometimes especially more so in the media that we had invested so much effort in him and he had left us down. whereas in reality all we are doing is observing and judging his efforts.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious from some of the comments here that quite a number of people know very little about marathons. Cragg's record shows that he is constantly running the first half of every marathon too fast and blowing up as a result. To talk about empathy and objectivity is nonsense. He keeps getting the race pace wrong based on what he thinks he can do instead of what he can do. Guess thats his choice but it doesnt make him look good.