Moreton Bay

Marathon man

GemLife Moreton Bay contract holder is the marathon man

Downsizing means time to speed up


The GemLife Moreton Bay contract holder leaves this month for the United States to compete in the Boston Marathon on 15 April. James, 69, originally from Wales, had always enjoyed running, but it wasn’t until he headed toward retirement that he returned to his favourite sport.

“You have to be invited to compete in the Boston Marathon and you do that by running a qualifying time in one of the world majors events,” he said.

“For me, that was last year’s London Marathon, and the catch is that you have to compete in the very next year’s event, otherwise you have to requalify.”

James’ time in London was 3 hours 31 minutes which placed him 23rd in his age group. If James had reached his preferred time, he would have placed tenth in his category.

“I was aiming for 3 hours 20 minutes, but the weather was absolutely awful. It was raining, I had blisters on my feet and my heels were bleeding,” he said.

The Boston Marathon is part of the World Marathon Majors, a circuit of six international marathon events, including New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Berlin, and London.

“One of my favourites was the New York marathon,” he said. “Being cheered on by more than a million spectators along the route is something I’ll never forget – the London Marathon has a very similar atmosphere too.”

With the Boston Marathon soon under his belt, James has only the Tokyo Marathon to run before he has completed all the majors.

“Well actually, there’s soon to be a seventh event on the circuit and that will be in Sydney. I’m looking forward to competing in that one also,” said James.

James revealed that a lot of preparation goes into training for each event.

“I’m a member of the Caboolture Road Runners running club and they help me set up a program 18 weeks out from an event,” said James. “Now keep in mind, this program is for someone who is already very physically fit and runs regularly, so you can see how demanding the sport of marathon running is.”

More recently, James and his wife Karen turned their attention to downsizing and they found GemLife Moreton Bay to have everything they were looking for.

“It was the layout that really impressed us,” he said. “There will be plenty of places to run with all the lakes and walking trails on offer.

“The fact that we’ll have no rear neighbours also appealed. And I’ve been in the building industry most of my life and I’ve been impressed by the quality of GemLife homes.”

Following this year’s Boston Marathon, James and Karen are taking a well-earned break.

“After the race we’ll be spending five days in Maine with relatives before taking a ten-day holiday to Iceland, then spending three weeks in Wales,” said James.

Does James’ wife Karen join him on his marathon runs?

“Oh no!” he laughs. “There is only room for one madman in the family!”