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Marathon Men

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Daegu 2011

 

12 August 2012

Team GB’s Lee Merrien and Scott Overall finished 30th and 61st respectively in the men’s marathon that began and ended on The Mall in the final athletics action of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Merrien finished in a time of 2:17.00 followed by Overall in 2:22.37, with Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich taking the title.

Merrien was the first Brit to cross the London Marathon finish line in April and said that despite finishing lower than he would have liked this morning, the experience was one to remember:

He said: "I am pleased. I had a target of top 20. Given the strength and depth of the field, I felt that was achievable. I didn't quite achieve that, but it was a strong field. I feel I justified my selection.

"The British public were absolutely phenomenal. I heard everyone talk about the atmosphere this week.  

"I was really proud to pull on the vest, it's a once in a lifetime achievement to even witness a home Game let alone run in one so to be able to do that was a real honour, but I wanted to run well to make it memorable. The only way to do that was to come along and put in a good performance and I think I achieved that. I would have liked to have been a bit further up and a bit faster time wise. Everyone's been talking this week about the crowd and saying your going to love it and I really did.  There were a couple of quiet bits, only a couple but as you went into them my ears were still ringing from the crowd support, it was absolutely phenomenal." 

Despite an exceptional 2012 season, where he finished eighth in the Berlin Marathon, Overall was disappointed with his Olympic performance.

He said: "I probably didn't plan for the conditions out there today. I really suffered on the last lap. It was tough to hold back because the crowds were so big and they were shouting and cheering for the British guys.

"I said before the race it's going to be tough to hold back when the crowd are so loud and are there shouting and cheering for the British guys, it's just one of those things really. In hindsight I should have gone out slower, the guys that did that, went slower through halfway and then were stronger on the last lap. Everyone suffered on the second lap and the third lap even the leaders, I don't think anyone negative split that race. 

"It's the complete opposite to Berlin, I felt good in Berlin I felt strong and it was all about the time in Berlin and it wasn't has hot as it was here. I know there's a lot more to come in terms of what time I can run in the marathon. The marathon is one of those tough events where I can do all the training and if it's not quite right on the day you have to wait a while until you can do another one. I'm sure I'll be back and pretty sure I can run a decent marathon soon."