National 1500m and 5000m record holder Cleveland Forde came out of his comfort zone over the weekend, finally mustering up the courage, strength and determination to finish the Suriname Marathon.
The 27-year-old former South American Under-23 champion, told Stabroek Sport that he was relieved that he finally accomplished his goal of finishing a marathon. Forde finished respectably in third place behind two Kenyan runners, while the other Guyanese competitors Kelvin Johnson and Lionel D’Andrade placed fourth and fifth respectively.
“I am happy now that I can finally say that I completed a marathon, and I am relieved to know that I was able to get it off my chest,” said Forde who has previously competed at the Central American Games, IAAF World Championships and Commonwealth Games. Forde said that the 26-mile race was extremely difficult but now he has a better idea of how t0 train for marathons.
“Now I know think I have a better idea of the training required if I decide that I want to get back into marathons,” Forde said.
“With marathons, there aren’t any shortcuts; you absolutely have to put in the work,” Forde added.
According to Forde, he would have to up his training to running about 90-100 miles per week if he hoped to train for marathons. However, Forde said that while he has no problem increasing his training regimen, he want to remain focussed on the two events which he holds nationals records for.
“I am still focussed on the 5000m and 1500m because those are my stronger events and the events that I think I have a better chance of qualifying for the Olympics in”, Forde added.
Forde has managed an unbeaten record in his other long distance events all this season, winning all the 1500m, 5000m and 10km races that he has competed in locally and regionally. Forde won the Courts and Ainlim 10km races as well as the 10th edition of stage one of the South American 10km Classic and the Venture 5km race in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T).
Forde had also been scheduled to defend his title at the University of the West Indies Half Marathon, but passed up the opportunity in order to help the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) compete at the Inter Services Annual Athletic Championships (ISAAC). At ISAAC, Forde won the 1500, 800m and 5000m and also helped GDF to a dominant win in the team road relay. Forde said that he was very pleased with the support that he has been receiving from GDF’s chief-of-Staff, Commodore Gary Best in all his athletic endeavours. Forde is expected to end his season by competing at the Run Barbados Series early next month.