Chris Rainsford smashes club record for the marathon!

Chris Rainsford clocked a personal best and new club record at the Frankfurt Marathon in October.

The 34-year-old ran 2:21:02 in wet and windy conditions to take more than eight minutes off the previous Heanor Running Club record.

Looking distinctive in his yellow and blue vest, pink shorts and white HOKA cap, Chris nestled himself into a large group behind the pacemakers for the elite women.


In only his second attempt at the distance and first marathon in almost six years, the sports marketing manager for HOKA ran an even-paced effort throughout, finishing inside the top-20 at the World Athletics Elite Label race.

“I’m really happy with the effort I put in today and how the race played out,” said Chris immediately after the race.

“I know the training I’ve done, and also the training I haven’t done, so to come away with that time in those conditions gives me a lot of confidence for the future.”

After a late-summer punctuated by travel and work commitments, specific marathon training was boiled down to a six-week block from the middle of September.

It proved sufficient as Chris ran with the elite women’s group through to halfway.

“There was a nice big group to clip along with, shielded from the wind, through the first half of the race,” said Chris.


“I just let the miles tick by and wasn’t too focused on the splits, trusting more how I was feeling and making sure I stayed in control.”

After going through halfway in 70:15, the group began to splinter as the pacers chased sub-2:20:00.

“I decided to just sit and focus on my own race,” said Chris.

“I didn’t feel ready to push the pace at that point, so let the group get away over the next few kilometres, knowing that I wasn’t slowing in the slightest.”

Sticking to his game plan, some of those athletes inevitably came back during the second half of the race, and provided the psychological lift that enabled Chris to pick up the momentum in the latter stages.

“There was a moment at around kilometre 34 where I had found a nice groove in the road and just felt so strong,” recalls Chris.

“I reached a group of four and decided to go straight past rather than sit. I broke free and continued the momentum back into the city centre.”

The Frankfurt course began with 14k amid skyscrapers and switchbacks, before heading out for 10k along the south side of the River Main, then back along the north side to the centre.


The final 5k was back among twists, turns and cobblestone sections, which led to a marked slowing for all athletes compared to previous 5k splits, bar the race winner,

Chris’s fuelling strategy involved taking on 30g of Precision Fuel and Hydration carbohydrate gels every 9k, plus approximately 200ml of High5 electrolyte drink at 5k intervals from 10k onwards.

It provided the energy that would see him clock a 5:04 last mile before entering the Festhalle, finishing inside amid lights, music and cheering friends and family.

“The finish was insane, so surreal, it just didn’t last long enough,” said Chris.

“Even though I’d already run a marathon, I wanted to experience that feeling a little longer.”