Dan Rees

My Journey of a Sub 3hr Marathon Attempt

By Daniel Rees

Dan Rees Marathon Report

It was the morning of Saturday 13th December 2020 would be my 8th attempt at the marathon distance and my 3rd attempt of having a real crack at breaking 3hrs. I felt this time was different as I’d put a lot of hard work into my strength training and varied my running sessions. I’d also managed get a training partner Damien Bruneau during covid lockdown which helped me  enormously. He is a 2.28 marathoner. The Ups and downs of the Marathon Lead Up: After breaking my leg in 4 places and tearing nearly every muscle around the knee back in a September 2017 skiing trip. I quickly realised that my sub 3hr marathon attempt at the 2017 Melbourne Marathon was over. After surgery and limping around on crushers and in a knee brace for 3 months it was no certainty I’d even getting back to running marathons as the break was that bad.
The doctor told me to give the marathon away and to concentrate on the shorter distances. But little did he know that those words would spur me on to achieve not only to run a marathon but to break the magic 3hr barrier. As I progressed through all the rehabilitation and physiotherapy appointments I could see progress and this gave me hope. As I set up to run the 2018 Melbourne Marathon I would yet again subcome to injury this time a torn calf muscle and a stress fracture in the foot. As I put that behind me I said to myself I’d be back next year to achieve a marathon PB. And after years of frustration, I finally ran a marathon PB by 2mins in 2019 Melbourne Marathon. It was a huge relief but I felt I had more to give and thought I’d only get stronger and felt the knee was showing enormous signs of improvement. As 2020 rolled around I was set for another attempt of a sub 3hr marathon finally after taking 3 years of hard work to get back into my 2017 shape.

But as we all know 2020 turned on its head in March due to covid with all events canceled to the least December so this meant yet again I was unable to run the Melbourne Marathon. This was until the Melbourne Marathon 2020 decided to go virtual with the event for the first time in its history.

All of a sudden my sub 3hr attempt was back on so I knuckled down to training so I could reach my lifelong goal of a sub 3hr marathon.

Marathon Day Saturday 13th December

As I stood at the start line of Albert Park ready for 8 laps and 640m to make up the 42.2km distance I knew I’d put in all the work and this was my time.

As the laps turned over my pacers Damien Bruneau and Julie Ann Undrill did a fantastic job of keeping me accountable to my target pace of 4.11/km and I’d pass through 21.1km in 1.28.10 feeling confident I had this.


As lap 6,7, 8 rolled around I felt great and started believing the sub 3hr marathon was within my reach. Having my twin brother Jason and my Dad on the bike beside me giving me encouragement in those last few kilometers helped me enormously as the cadence in the legs started to drop off and the shoulders started to slump.


With 1km to go, I focused on rhythm, breathing, cadence and form and managed to cross the line in 2.56.48

I also  managed to run the the last kilometre of the run in 4.14 which turned out to be what I’d run my first kilometre in 41km ago.
Something of which I could have only dreamed of in recent marathons.
So there it was I was a official sub 3hr marathoner finally. 
So yet again I look for a new challenge and that will be my first 100km Ultra the Oscars Hut2Hut in February taking place at Mt Buller.  This is seen as Australia’s tufrest trail race with over 5000m elevation and 20 River crossing and several steep rock faces and reveins to navigate. 
Till then I which all the Melbourne  Midday Milers luck in there next adventure and never give up on what you believe is possible. 

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