Dalton’s amazing Japan run

Great run: Ocean Grove runner James Dalton celebrates his overall top 10 finish at the Senshu International City Marathon in Japan on Sunday 19 February. Picture: MARTIN DALTON 165346

By Mark Heenan

Champion Ocean Grove runner James Dalton smashed a personal best with an inspired performance at the Senshu International City Marathon in Japan on Sunday 19 February.
Incredibly, the 37-year-old finished 10th out of 5000 runners and was the second international and non-Japanese runner across the finish line in 2:36:35.
Dalton said it was a career highlight to achieve his best time in a marathon at an international running event.
“Just being able to go to a different country and run a time I wanted to do and experience that culture – it was fantastic,” Dalton told the Voice.
“All the work you put in when it pays off like that … you do think deep down you are capable of it but until you do it you just don’t know.”
Remarkably, Dalton achieved a ‘negative split’ which means he recorded a better time in the final half of his 42.2km marathon at Senshu.
“To be able to ‘negative split’ a marathon as well is pretty rare,” said Dalton, who competed in his third marathon.
“My second 21.1km was maybe 30 seconds quicker – to be able to do that was even more satisfying.”
Dalton had been in training for more than six months to race in Japan.
Dalton won prize to compete in Senshu after being the first Geelong-based resident to cross the finish line at last year’s 44km Great Ocean Road Marathon in time of 2:50:19.
He competed in his first marathon attempt at the 42.2km 2015 Gold Coast Airport Marathon where he finished in 2:44:52.
The father-of-two who works as a track manager at Danny O’Brien Stables near Barwon Heads, travelled to Japan with his father Martin.
Dalton, a multiple winner of the Thirteenth Beach Trail Run, claimed his first ever podium top-three finish at the Rip to River Classic on 31 December.
Before he jetted off to Japan, the star local runner also won the 10km Bellarine Sunset Run in Portarlington on 11 February in 35:19.
“It was a good build up – the Bellarine Sunset Run was the Saturday before I left Japan,” he said.
In other local running news, the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club has confirmed next summer’s Rip to River Classic will be held on Saturday 6 January, 2018.
The 37th Rip to River Classic held in December saw around 1000 participants compete in Ocean Grove SLSC’s biggest annual fundraiser.
Meanwhile, the Annual Ocean Grove SLSC Senior Club Championships were held on Saturday 25 February.