Olympic Decathlete Finds Marathon A Challenge

Sarah and Bryan Clay just after finishing the 2012 Honolulu Marathon. Photo: David Monti for Race Results Weekly

Brian Clay called it a “beast”.

(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

HONOLULU — Beijing Olympic Decathlon gold medalist Bryan Clay found running his first marathon both challenging and satisfying, even thought he did not race it competitively. He and wife Sarah trained for and ran today’s 40th Honolulu Marathon together, clocking 4:46:31.

“It was a beast,” Clay said immediately after crossing the finish line. “The decathlon is a completely different animal. I think that it helped that I was running with my wife and not trying to be competitive. If you put a competitive atmosphere to this thing I think it would hurt you bad.”

The couple were on pace at 30K to run a somewhat faster time, but like other runners here they struggled with the gusty trade winds, high humidity and warm temperatures. Nonetheless, Clay said that he was buoyed by the fan support and camaraderie amongst the runners on the course.

“This was a lot of fun,” Clay said. “It was great. You’re talking to people the whole way. The Hawaii fans are unbelievable; they’re all along the course cheering you on. Every time you hear somebody yell your name you get a little extra boost, you know?”

For wife Sarah, the race was also her first marathon. She said that she could not have done it without her husband’s support.

“When I started training I thought I was doing it on my own,” Sarah Clay said. “He just had surgery about eight weeks ago for five hernias. Then he started helping me train a little bit here and there, and he decided, hey, what the heck, I’ll come out and help you. I’m really glad he did.”

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