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“The Marathon Dream” – By Team Member Shaun Mann

The Marathon Dream

Can I?

Growing up as a kid I used to watch all sporting events on the TV, football, Formula 1, golf, Olympics… anything and everything. Every April I would watch the London marathon, one of the biggest and greatest sporting events of the year, never ever thinking or considering I’d ever be capable of running in it myself one day, it would be the equivalent of playing at Wembley in a FA Cup final.

I started running 6 years ago joining Ryston runners a local running club. A year later in 2015 we went to cheer on team mates running the  London marathon. I watched in awe at this amazing spectacle. It was so inspirational, as I watched those 40,000 people making it look easy… I thought…

Watching the VLM 2015

Could I?

The marathon seed was sown.

Weeks later I was talked into entering my first marathon, Florence in November 2015. This seemed a long way off. I briefly gave up running through the summer to concentrate on the gym. With just 4 weeks until the marathon it became real, I realised I needed to get some miles in. Race day was here What an amazing day,I became a little emotional as I crossed the finish line… Id done it… 4 hours 1 minute…

Finishing Florence Marathon

I could

I’m a marathoner I described the marathon experience as feeling like ‘Superman’

A new question was born… if I trained for a marathon, could I get 3.15 a London ‘Good For Age’ time for automatic entry into the London Marathon.? Which was my boyhood dream.

Could I?

April 2016

Manchester marathon

Boy that was hard… 3.20

A PB… happy with that … but no entry into the London marathon

I’ve now got the bit between my teeth…

I want that 3.15 With better training & hard work I believe it’s within reach

October 2016

Amsterdam marathon

YES 3.13… I’ve done it!!

I can now run in London my FA Cup final

I COULD get that Good For Age time

April 2017

Manchester marathon

As one goal is completed, we set another

One which most male club runners strive for…  the magic sub 3hr marathon

COULD I? Another toughie… I haven’t quite mastered this marathon lark yet

3.12 a PB, happy yes,

But I know I must be able to do better

Manchester Marathon 2017 – 3:12pb

April 2018

The London marathon

The greatest show on earth

I had trained hard I and was in great shape… good enough to threaten the sub 3 hour target WOW

What a weekend, the expo, the buzz, the excitement, the anticipation, the hottest London marathon on record… oh no!

3.24… I was happy with that considering It was walk/run from mile 11

The London marathon changed their criteria for automatic entry good for age times balancing out the gender participation, basically making it harder for the males. My 3.12 was no longer good enough and it was a huge disappointment to miss out in 2019, but this probably made me more determined.

Although my Manchester time was no longer good enough for London it was however good enough for entry into Chicago another one of the 6 marathon majors.  Chicago entered, the dream was alive again.

I trained hard through the winter of 2018 and as we entered the new year the thought of getting some professional help in the form of a coach entered my mind. I really wanted this sub 3 now and would do anything to make it happen.

Charlotte Purdues profile as a top marathon athlete had been rapidly rising over recent years and enquires were made to her coaching programme. Initial enquires made me aware it was both affordable & practical.

I joined in May 2019 just as I was about to start my training for Chicago. From day one I loved it, the structured sessions fitted well into my everyday life and it wasn’t long before I started seeing results and started to feel more confident about my running and the job in hand.

October 2019

Chicago marathon

Training had been faultless, I had ticked off the days & the sessions. Support from Adam, Charlotte & the whole Purdue Performance team had given me the confidence that I could get the job done and get this goal of a sub 3hr ticked off.

Chicago was amazing, a great city & a great marathon. It was nice other PP members were also there.

The marathon itself went as close to plan as possible…. BOOM 2.52 (as Adam would say ‘bossed it!’)

Chicago Marathon – Huge pb 2.52


Go sub 3.

Another goal ticked off… I’m so happy… what an amazing adventure… but it’s not over For all of us in running, chasing dreams & goals is never ending. No matter how far the goal seems distant or impossible, it is within reach with hard work and patience.

For the rest of my life I will honestly be proud of my latest achievement (ask those at work who hear about it everyday) of which I couldn’t have done it without Adam, Charlotte  & of course my girlfriend Anna. To those I am forever grateful. Yes I had to put the work in, be committed & determined but without their support & encouragement I don’t think it would have been possible.

The goal posts have moved…

I have to push the boundary’s

The next goal is set

Berlin 2020

Sub 2.45?


‘No human is limited’ (Kipchoge)

Team Purdue Performance in Chicago