Sammy Degraff has added incentive for Bermuda Half Marathon Derby
Sammy Degraff has added incentive to put his best foot forward in the Bermuda Half Marathon Derby this year.
The 41-year-old hopes to achieve the qualifying standard in the masters division for a major international marathon competing in the 13.1-mile race from Somerset to Bernard Park on May 27.
“My expectations for this year's Derby is higher than before as I am stronger than before,” Degraff told The Royal Gazette. “I would like to get a qualifying time as a master to be eligible to enter one of the major marathons as an elite.
“So I'm looking forward to be able to see what can be done on a tough course.
“I am very interested to see what my legs will allow and produce with the training that has been put in them.
“All my workouts I do now I understand more the reason why and how it helps the body for the race.
“I'm looking for my legs to reward the training and run a beautiful race.”
The former North Village midfielder has been a model of consistency having finished third in the previous two races.
He also lowered his personal best time over the distance to 1hr 12min 54sec on the way to winning the Chattanooga Erlanger Half-Marathon in Tennessee last November.
Degraff says his preparations for next week’s race have been coming along nicely.
“My preparation has been good,” he said. “I have had a pretty consistent training block.
“Most of it was done on my treadmill which was different. But I'm grateful for that treadmill; it's been a blessing.”
The upcoming race will be Degraff’s first in four months.
“I haven't raced any races since the marathon I ran in Houston in January,” he added. “But the way how I train I usually don't race much in my training blocks. Maybe twice if the races line up with what I'm working on. Also, I'm still learning the race circuits in my area and learning the running community.”
Degraff takes particular liking to the Bermuda Half Marathon Derby, and for good reason.
“May 24 is the race that really helped me get into running and as a result it holds a special place in my heart,” he said. “I am happy I can be able to come back and be a small part of it.
“It’s another building block to continue to improve and grow and my main plan whenever I run is to inspire others to run the race they are in. Everyone has a race to run.”
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