James Lander is a professional marathon runner from the U.S. studying and competing in Victoria.
His personal bests are 1:04:56 in half-marathon and 2:18:25 in the full marathon. He took time out of his day to talk to the News prior to the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon on Sunday (Oct. 9).
Q: What brings a Pennsylvania man to Esquimalt?
A: Been here since May 2010 after finishing chiropractic school in California. I’m finishing my acupuncture degree at Pacific Rim College in Market Square where I also teach.
Q: Last year you were 23 seconds back of the winner. Has that loss stuck with you?
A: That was so frustrating, I really felt set up to win but had a rough spell from the 27th kilometre to the 35th. I was going through a lull at that time, then we hit the horrific head wind. It made it difficult. That’s when Samoei got ahead in the 32nd km.
Q: Why did you decide to run the half?
A: It’s a lot to do with timing and I wanted to look at other marathons in the region, like the (Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon) in November. I typically run a half-marathon four to six weeks before a full. I’m also getting married in December.
Q: What half-marathon time do you expect on Sunday?
A: Hope to run in the low 1:06 range. I actually haven’t been informed of the competition (as of Wednesday). I don’t race a lot and I train exclusively by myself, so whoever it is I’m anxious just to race.
Q: What changes do you make when running the half instead of full marathon?
A: No matter, (the top competition) we’ll start pretty quick, under five minutes for the first mile, then settle into a groove of five minutes, 5:05 or 5:10 per mile. That’s three minutes and five seconds for the first kilometre, then 3:10 to 3:15 for next couple of kilometers but it should be 3:10 or quick