It was a great week for Quebec athletes in the state of California.
David Le Porho finished ninth at the California International Marathon in Sacramento running 2:19:37, making him the fastest Quebec marathoner in 15 years. He’s 38 and is a two-time world snowshoe champion winning in 2011 and 2012.
Last weekend’s result was no outlier; Le Porho won the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon in May and had a 2:20:23 lifetime best from the 2014 Berlin Marathon. The ASICS/Le Coureur-sponsored athlete also ran a 1:06:53 at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon.
Earlier this week we wrote about Laura Batterink’s great result at Sunday’s Pacific Pursuit 10,000m, also in Sacramento. Both Quebec performances were accomplished within 12 hours of each other.
Le Porho contemplated running the Fukuoka Marathon before deciding on the California International Marathon, known for its high-percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers. The race also featured a number of American runners aiming for the U.S. Olympic Trials standard (2:18:00), just off Le Porho’s pace.
Le Porho has been only been running competitively for about six years, three of those marathon-specific.
“My athletics background is not that old, and I can attribute this to why I’m still motivated to run lifetime bests at 38,” adds Le Porho from California. “Before I competed in snowshoe races, I was running on the roads, which acted as cross-training during the winter. It brings a general physical preparation for the road season.”
Still, it took years before Le Porho was able to translate his snowshoe race success to the marathon. In that time, he won the Canadian Mountain Running Championships and represented Canada at worlds in the same discipline.
“Specifically, the snowshoe running doesn’t help in the marathon preparation,” he said. “I had to focus my efforts on a specific preparation for marathons to perform, a three-year process where I had to be in the shape to perform and find ideal race conditions (weather, course profile, pace).”
Le Porho’s 2:19:37 ranks him in the top-10 among Canadian performances at the marathon for 2015.
“I am especially happy to be amongst the first Canadian amateurs well-ranked at the national level,” added Le Porho. “Since I started to train specifically for the marathon, I had in 2:20 and Quebec’s all-time top 10 in mind. For me it’s a great accomplishment. In the next three years, there will be other runners under 2:20, I’m sure, including my training partners and fellow Quebec competitors.”
Le Coureur, a Sherbrooke, Que. based running store that sponsors Le Porho, added “We’re very proud of all the hard work David is able to put in, considering his full time job, his wife and wonderful daughter. David is a very talented athlete but most of all a true gentleman. He gets along with everybody, from the 35-minute 5K runner to the young track guys.”