Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Williams says he has stamina for New Delhi


MARTIN Williams has pledged to compete for Scotland in the marathon at this year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, despite his surprise selection in Great Britain's team for the summer's European Championship in Barcelona.

The Midlands-based policeman, pictured right, who won the Edinburgh Marathon 12 months ago, received a belated invitation to Spain in July following the withdrawal of Andrew Lemoncello. Williams returns to the capital today to the scene of his biggeADVERTISEMENT

st victory to date, but will run only the adjoining Scottish half-marathon championship to preserve his energy. For someone who trains for up to 130 miles per week in addition to his day job, such conservatism may seem unnecessary. And he has no qualms about doubling up in India when many of his domestic rivals are eschewing the idea.

"Barcelona is a bonus but I'll still do Delhi," the former Cambuslang man confirmed. "Last year I did London and Edinburgh four weeks later, and I went five minutes quicker. I feel I can cope with the higher mileage and there is a ten-week break between the two. When I'm in marathon phase, I'll go pretty high, perhaps around 130 miles per week. In between, my target is around 100 with a few 10K races. I feel comfortable with it, even if my easy weeks are harder than most people's. But between Edinburgh and the Europeans, it will be intense."

On a course that stretches from the city centre to Musselburgh Racecourse, more than 24,000 competitors will take to the streets, whether running for 13 or 26 miles, or in the relay event that has boosted the record numbers still further. The fastest in the field will be 71-year-old Ron Hill, whose marathon mark of 2.09 is still a Scottish all-comers best, 40 years after his Commonwealth Games triumph in Edinburgh.