We had no idea that Chris Zablocki was running the Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Marathon. We hadn’t heard much about Mr. FarmStrong himself since he’s currently living in England and studying at St. Richard’s Hospital (where he’ll be until next July).
Though we had never heard of the race, it’s still a big, competitive event and this year’s edition saw 19 runners from 6 different countries attain the Olympic qualifying standard (according to the race website, at least).
John Nzau Mwangangi won the race in 2:06:13, and behind him the next 5 people all broke 2:10 while the five after that all broke 2:15. That’s a pretty stacked field. A few runners later came Chris in 16th place…in a blazing 2:15:35.
Chris already had his Olympic Trials marathon invitation due to his 2:17:26 at Grandma’s Marathon back in June. It’s funny, when you look at the current list of accepted entrants for the Trials, Chris is dead last when it’s sorted alphabetically. Sorted by time rank and instead he’s now in the middle after that performance (228th out of 323). Side note: ranked by time and now we see Eric Ashe is dead last. Come on, Eric! Additional side note: Tim Ritchie is ranked second, as they equate his 1:01:22 to a 2:08:31 full marathon. Holy shit!
Like we mentioned earlier, we didn’t know Chris was racing but thankfully a reader alerted us to it (thanks Phil!). After learning of this, we got a few quick questions out to Chris:
How did you end up racing in Spain?
I went there because my friend Adam from school (who is a year ahead of me) had done it and told me it was awesome.
Are you going after the ‘A’ standard? Knowing how quickly you recover and how often you race, will you try again?
I deal with enough numbers all day with patients’ electrolytes, creatinine, liver function tests, anion gaps, etc so after I qualified for the Trials I quit worrying about time and instead just focused on having a good time and smashing tons of races. I usually wake up in the AM for some loops around the Brandy Hole Copse, then in the night run with my friend from Chichester and get lost in the South Downs and then back towards the cathedral steeple, or 1-2x/week go to Brighton and do reps along the Hove Prom while Coach Allison rides her bike. I haven’t any more marathons planned yet, there is a test in a week to get ready for now. My English friends told me XC races are 9 or 10 miles through extra mud with a few thousand racers and cannons to start, the season is beginning so that’s what I’m excited for now.
When was your last race prior to this one? Will there be another marathon in the near future?
Did marathons in Nottingham, Jersey Island (had a duel with a Russian but unfortunately hit the wall in that one after 22), and Poznan end of September/early October, then 3 10 mile races (Brighton&Hove, Great South, and Lordshill Southampton), next race will probably be one of the Sussex XC league races. There might be another marathon soon if I discover a good one worth jumping in.
Chris has come along way since his days of throwing the old ‘Matt Pelletier’ around the yard after runs. It’s so great to see his hard work paying off!