British XC Runner Targeting The Olympic Marathon

He’s now running injury-free and hopes to debut under 2:16.

To date, Steve Vernon’s running success has been in the shorter events. The British runner recently won his country’s national cross-country championships, winning by over 20 seconds. His victory was especially sweet considering that he’d finished second and third in the past two editions of the race.

With that achievement under his belt, Vernon is now setting his sights at a loftier goal: the marathon.

“I’m looking towards a marathon later this year and would be stupid not to have a go for 2012,” he said. Vernon will need to run 2:16 or better to qualify–no easy feat considering that he’s never run the marathon before.

However, with his career on the rebound (Vernon had undergone stomach surgery in late 2009.), Vernon is confident at his chances of making the British squad.

“The biggest thing for me is staying injury-free and for the first time in my life,” he admits. “I have been for nearly 12 months now.” To prepare for the 26.2-mile race, Vernon has been “consistently running around 90 miles per week this winter.”

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