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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'It was a bad day for me, so I must be positive' - Frans reflects on Boston Marathon performance

South African marathoner Melikhaya Frans says despite the race not going according to his plans, he took valuable lessons from his run at the Boston Marathon. Frans, who was making his Boston debut, finished the race in 2:22:55 which the slowest marathon clocking of his career. Running in his second marathon major after raced (2:13:50) the London Marathon in 2020, Frans says the icy and rainy weather plus other factors contributed to his performance.

Frans taking in the sights at the 2023 Boston Marathon. Photo Credit: Supplied.

"I think the weather conditions were too much," he told #TheTopRunner. "Although it was raining when we started I thought it would subside a little. Instead, the rain poured even harder as we started running. Everything went as planned in the first half of the race. I crossed the halfway mark in 1:03:59 which was well under the 2:08 we had trained for. As I crossed the halfway, I started to vomit then through 30k mark, I started to experience cramps. The route goes downhill from the start which I think stretched me too much. Even though I gave it my all, it was a bad day for me."

The result notwithstanding, the man from Gqeberha says he still believes that he can run 2:08:10 and qualify to represent South Africa at what would be his very first Olympic Games at Paris 2024 Olympic. The 33-year-old old national 30k record holder (1:36:30) says there is still time to achieve that dream especially if he can get an overseas race.

Frans says he will sit down with his coach Mike Mbambani to plan the way forward. Photo Credit: Motherwell Freedom Run.

"I'm not worried at the moment. There is plenty of time to qualify for the next year's Olympics. I still need to discuss the way forward with my coach (Mike Mbambani) and see what we comes up with. An overseas marathon before the end of the year is what I need in order to get nice competition. I know that if I can get a fast race running with fast guys, then I can achieve the required time easily. So I must be positive that I can put out a strong performance," explains the man who ran a 2:09:24 lifetime best during last year's World Championships in Oregon.

Asked if he can try Boston again in future, Frans said that he took lessons from his performance which have left him eager to come back if opportunity presents itself. "Why not? If I can get another opportunity I'll grab it with both hands. Its a huge race and I learned a lot from it. One thing I understand better now is that no matter how you trained but a bad day can appear from nowhere to smash your plans."

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