[quote]curiously interested wrote:
Oh, and he claims he was 210 pounds (15 stones) when he ran those initial marathons in 3:19 and 3:28.
Maybe he got confused and ran 26 kilometers rather than miles?[/quote]
For his first run, in the book he clearly describes running 4 unequal loops in Richmond Park. But on mapmyrun, for his first run, it's point to point. The route starts in Twickenham, goes 3/4 of the way around Richmond Park, goes out towards London, does some unequal loops in Hyde Park, and then a couple unequal loops in Regents Park where it finishes about 11 miles from where he started. Mapmyrun course measures 26.47. The map was created on Monday, April 14, 2014 in mapmyrun. The run was performed on Tues, April 15, 2014 (his first entry in the website that I know of) at 5:30am (although the book claims Mon at 3:30am and a time of 4:07, not 3:19 as in mapmyrun). But maybe he ran it on Monday and entered it on Tuesday with that day's date by accident.
The time was probably manually entered as 3:19 because it's "00" seconds. Only a 1/60 chance that his watch actually stopped precisely at that point, otherwise there's a 59/60 chance that a different amount of seconds would've been uploaded from a watch. And if the time was manually entered, the course was probably manually created (i.e., not uploaded from a gps watch). Or could he have copied this course from someone else in mapmyrun for his route? I don't know.
How did he know when he had run at least 26.2 miles? Did he have a gps watch for this first run? If not, maybe he drew the map to figure out where to go and then ran, but maybe skipped some of the loops in Hyde and Regents Parks at the end to shorten the run.
But that seems unlikely because the loops in Hyde and Regents Park are rather arbitrary and there are an infinite number of possible routes to take (if you've ever run in either of those parks as I have). Maybe he drew the map after he ran based on where he knew he had run, but then again, how would he know while running that he had gone at least 26.2 miles?
Here's the route for his first "marathon" in mapmyrun.
So I still haven't figured out where he likely ran that first one or have a good conjecture how fast he ran it or how far. It seems highly unlikely that he did run 3:19:00 for 26.47 miles like the mapmyrun entry indicates. It is quite the outlier--especially as his first ever marathon--compared to his 8 marathon RACES he raced later that year (3:46-4:56 range) after becoming a marathoner.