Chris Zablocki, the American doctor who made a name for himself in his year-long stay in Chichester, made a flying visit to Chichester over the weekend 3rd/4th June and managed to pack in one park run, two long training runs over the South Downs and one 10k road race in the 48 hours he was here. His visit was especially welcomed by Chichester Runner’s athlete James Baker who had relished having Chris as a training partner whilst he was working at St. Richards Hospital during 2016.
Having arrived in the early hours of Saturday morning after his flight from Poland was delayed, Chris joined in Saturday’s Chichester parkrun about a minute after the race had started and was content to stroll round the course to overtake all but the first three runners home. Notching up another race win was James Baker who looked on good form as he sped round in 16.20 with second placer Will Boutwood also inside the 17 minutes barrier. After an afternoon’s rest, James and Chris went on what turned out to be a 16-mile training run in the afternoon before lining up with just over 300 other runners at the D Day 10K road race at the Portsmouth Lakeside course on the Sunday morning. It was soon apparent that no-one else in the field could keep with the two Chichester men and they proceeded to pull away from the rest to win by over a minute in 33.28 leaving the pair barely out of breath and able to continue another 10K warm down before the prizegiving. Not only were they first two individuals but were able to win the team prize thanks to a fine run from Stefano Cerea in 37th place finishing just inside 40 minutes.
Since he was last in the UK Chris has made a name for himself by setting a world’s best time for an indoor marathon in New York at the famous Armory track and shaved just 8 seconds off the previous record set in 2016 to cross the line in 2.21.48. This is just under six minutes slower than his outdoor best which he set last year in Valencia at 2.15.53. Chris plans to run in the English National Cross-Country Championships next February when the event returns to Parliament Hill Fields, London.