We recently caught up with Profeet ambassador, Mark Perkins, after he recorded the seriously impressive time of 13:06 at the 100 Meilen Berlin – smashing the course record by nearly three hours.
Congratulations on your fantastic result in Berlin. Can you talk us through the race?
Thank you! I think to run a fast time in 100 mile races a lot of things have to all come together for you and I was fortunate enough to have another day where things pretty much just all went to plan.
I knew there was going to be a very fast Japanese runner (Tsutomu Nagata) there – invited specifically for the race – but I tried not to let it bother me.
I guessed he’d go out quicker than I wanted to, so I just planned to take it steady and try and get through the first half of the race in good shape and then see how things shook out from there.
He did indeed shoot off at the start, and after I got held up at a red traffic light (there are a lot of traffic lights in the first section, with dire warnings of disqualification if you go through them when red!) I lost contact with him.
I just settled into my own pace and concentrated on looking after myself right from the start, eating, drinking and keeping focussed. I managed to keep up a good steady pace and towards half way I knew he was slowing as his gap of more than 10 minutes at the marathon mark was becoming less and less. I didn’t know at the time but he was suffering from a few stomach problems, and that allowed me to catch him and overtake at around the 80km mark.
I had a pretty big low patch myself a little later, and lost the ability to eat anything solid, but I pushed on just trying to keep my pace up as long as I could. I run pretty well on just coke and water anyway and by the time my pacer (Sarah, my wife) joined me with about 40km to go I was feeling a little better.
By this time I knew I had a gap of about 40 minutes on second place, which meant I could just concentrate on moving at my own pace.
I knew a sub-13 time was potentially on the cards, but equally if I pushed too hard I ran the risk of blowing up. In the end I missed out by six minutes – a little annoying looking back on it but I’d rather be just over than not make it to the finish line at all, and 100 mile races are really all about knowing when to back off!
It’s still a time I would never even have dreamed about a year ago so I’m very pleased.