Not many athletes have an answer to the question: what does it feel like to break a world record? But, as of last Sunday, Brian Reynolds has experienced that feeling four times: “It was a very emotional moment. I have been striving to break the 1:20 mark for a while now,” recounts Brian. “I had a string of rough races in 2018 between the London Marathon and the Chicago Marathon where I had not accomplished my goal or hadn't dug deep enough. I knew going into the race today that I was going to have to accept the pain and discomfort of hard racing if I wanted to achieve my goal.” And achieve his goal he did, crossing the finish line of the NYC Half Marathon in 1 hour, 19 minutes and 43 seconds, a new unofficial world record for double leg, below-knee amputees, and the culmination of years of hard work.
So what made this difference this time around? “In past training cycles my training has been inconsistent and pieced together. I have always believed in strong amount of cross-training with biking, swimming, ElliptiGo, and strength training,” says Brian. “In November I started working with Coach Cane who owns City Coaches […] have felt far stronger and more focused in the past few months and it left me feeling fresh and ready to go on race morning.”
But race day didn’t go entirely smoothly, “The first few miles of the race I spent making sure I remained calm and collected. I knew that if I could dig deep and hold on to the group I had a great chance of breaking the record. I started to come unglued running up the Brooklyn Bridge,” says Brian. “I wasn't used to running such a long hill at that fast a pace. I stayed to fade a bit and despaired as I saw my dream slipping away. However, another runner, Carly Gill (bib 1906) dropped back to pace alongside me and encouraged me to dig deeper and fight harder. She told me over and over that I could conquer the hill and slowly pull back with the pacers.”
Brian hopes this is just the start of a successful year. He has a few more half marathons lined up in 2019, as he focuses on developing his speed, before an end of year marathon attempt, “My goal will definitely be to utterly annihilate the 3-hour mark in the next marathon!” says Brian.
Give him some kudos: https://www.strava.com/activities/2219619125