We recently caught up with Rory McDowell who, in addition to Ruben, also won a 2023 London Marathon club place in the draw at last year's Christmas party.
Q. Hi Rory, how is your training going?
Really well so far - I did the Rome Marathon a few weeks ago and managed a 3:15 which exceeded my PB and my goal time by a long way so I’ve used that as a bar for how well I can do in London. This’ll be the shortest period for me between marathons which has been a daunting prospect, but right now, I’m feeling really good. Q. Are you following a plan? Yes - I use a training app called TrainAsONE which is an AI enabled plan that constantly adjusts according to how you run. It can be a bit unpredictable with the way it schedules some runs (it scheduled two three-hour runs within three days for me at one point!) but I’ve enjoyed this aspect of it compared to a traditional training plan and I’ve really felt the improvement since I started using it last year. Q. Is your goal to race or just have fun? A bit of both really but it’ll be a race against myself - any race I do, I’m always trying to beat my PB. This is my first major, so I’m really keen to soak in the experience whilst also running as hard as I can. Q. Any surprises along the way? The Watford Half was part of my training for London and although I aimed to do a sub 1:30, I knew how hilly it would be so was prepared for it to be a close one. I was really surprised that I managed a 1:27, not only beating my PB but also finally getting a sub 1:30 after many attempts. Q. Favourite run during the training? Rome Marathon was technically part of my training for London which was by the far the biggest marathon I’ve done and such an incredible experience! The tricolour jet pass over at the start line was unbelievable and a really amazing way to start, and the spectators were so enthusiastic that it made the harder parts that much easier. Q. Are you ready for London? I’m feeling really ready! Rome gave me a good feel for how I’ll run in London and I think I can shave a bit off my Rome time now I know how well I can do. Q. Are you doing anything fun to relax during your taper? Nothing too relaxing! I’m going to two weddings between now and then, including one two days before London, so it’ll mostly be stressing about how I’m going to fit in my carbs with the wedding food! Q. How long have you been a member of QPH? About 10 months now - I moved back to the UK in March last year after many years in New Zealand. I felt it was a good opportunity to mix up my training a bit and and meet some fellow runners. QPH is the nearest club to where I live so it just seemed like the right one to join. I’ve really enjoyed being a member so far and I’m keen to be a bit more involved in Summer League this year than I was last year. Q. Was it a surprise to get the QPH entry into the marathon? Very surprising! I’d lie if I said I wasn’t gutted about missing out on the ballot for London (and then Berlin a few weeks later), but I was stoked when I got the QPH entry which allows me to tick off my first major!