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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Rock 'n' roll for impressive Danny after superb Great East Run showing

PUBLISHED: 09:34 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:35 24 September 2019

Danny Rock (red vest) tracks the early pace-setters at the Great East Run. Rock finished a fine third in a personal best time. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Danny Rock (red vest) tracks the early pace-setters at the Great East Run. Rock finished a fine third in a personal best time. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Danny Rock is making remarkable strides as a long-distance runner, under the watchful eye of coach Nigel Powley, to such an extent that personal bests are being smashed on a regular basis, over all distances.

Danny Rock, right, shakes hands with his coach, Nigel Powley, after finishing the Great East Run in Ipswich on Sunday. Picture: CARL MARSTONDanny Rock, right, shakes hands with his coach, Nigel Powley, after finishing the Great East Run in Ipswich on Sunday. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Rock had a difficult start to the year, with niggling injuries, but the last couple of months have yielded some terrific results for the Sproughton-based athlete.

He described his victory at the Ipswich Twilight 10K, from two months ago on July 26, as his "best-ever race."

But Rock, a leading light at Felixstowe Road Runners, eclisped even that with a scorching display at the Simplyhealth Great East Run on Sunday, held over the half-marathon distance in Ipswich.

Rock finished a strong third, behind international athlete Chris Thompson (66mins 43secs) and fellow Suffolk athlete Andrew Rooke (69:39), in another personal best time of 70:22.

Danny Rock approaches the finish to the Great East Run, outside Portman Road stadium. Picture: CARL MARSTONDanny Rock approaches the finish to the Great East Run, outside Portman Road stadium. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Understandably, he was delighted with the run, and the time, as he looks forward to setting yet more PBs over the coming weeks, culminating in the Amsterdam Marathon at the end of October.

"I'm absolutely delighted," enthused Rock, following his third spot at PB at the Simplyhealth Great East Run.

"I'm over the moon with my time. It was just 22 seconds over 70 minutes, while my previous quickest of 71:05 was only three weeks ago.

"It shows what good progress I am making," added Rock, with reference to his previous personal best from three weeks earlier, on winning the Wissey Half-Marathon in Oxborough, Norfolk.

Rock continued: "Conditions were a little bit warm (on Sunday), but it wasn't too hot.

"There was a little bit of breeze on the way out to Freston, but I can't complain too much - it could have been a lot worse."

Rock, who was brought up in Trimley, has only been competing on the road race stage since 2015, after initially just taking part in parkruns.

The 37-year-old ran his first marathon at Manchester in 2016, in 2:44:38, and improved that mark to 2:39:21 at the London Marathon of 2017, and then on to 2:34:42 at Amsterdam last year.

But his times have really come down since his link-up with coach Powley, who used to dominate the running scene in East Anglia during the 1980s and 1990s.

"You can gauge what an impact my coach has had, from the results alone," insisted Rock, with regards his coach Powley.

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"The proof in the pudding is in my results.

"He uses all the old techniques. You have to be committed, both the coach and the athlete."

Coach Powley was on hand to watch Rock in action at Ipswich, both on the course and at the finish.

"Danny does everything I tell him to, that's the secret," said Powley.

"He trains hard, and we make sure that there are no wasted miles in training. There has to be a purpose to every training run."

Rock will now continue his build-up towards the Amsterdam Marathon, which takes place on October 20.

"The aim is to run a marathon next month, in Amsterdam," confirmed Rock.

"Fingers crossed, the aim is to get under the 2:30 mark, after running 2:34 there last year.

"I'm having a terrific year really, after a few injuries early on - it was actually a nightmare first three months with groin issues and knee injuries, but I've come back well, and I've come back feeling stronger.

"The injuries have given me a little time out, before I was ablt to train solidly for a couple of months.

"I targeted one race in particular, the Twilight 10K (which he won in 32:17).

"And it's gone from strength to strength since then.

"Now I've got a couple of weeks of solid training, and then the Peterborough Half-Marathon (Perkins Geeat Eastern Run), which should be a nice little flush-out. Hopefully, I will go sub-70-minutes there.

"Then I will be giving it my all at Amsterdam," added Rock, whose other recent highlights have included a win at the Felixstowe Coastal 10 (in a PB of 53:46, just a week before the Great East Run) and another PB at the East Anglian League RAF Honington 10K (31:30).

- Simplyhealth plans help cover the cost of a range of health treatments, including physiotherapy, optician, dental appointments and more. For more information, visit simplyhealth.co.uk

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