Award marks giant strides taken by Eyemouth athlete

Runner Marcus D'Agrosa, mechanic by day, at the Perryman's bus depot in St Boswells
Runner Marcus D'Agrosa, mechanic by day, at the Perryman's bus depot in St Boswells

Eyemouth distance athlete Marcus D’Agrosa has been named as the most improved 10k runner by Runner’s World magazine.

Marcus, (27), works as a mechanic, and is currently a member of Gala Harriers and is trained by renowned Berwickshire coach Henry Gray.

He just started running in 2013 and has already made a name for himself on the local distance running scene.

At the age of 25, Marcus was rather late in taking up the sport and took part in races just for fun and sometimes to raise money for charity.

Marcus explained: “At the beginning of 2015 I started a new job which gave me more time for training so I decided to take my running a little more seriously.

“Henry Gray invited me to train with his squad as he had been impressed with the times I had achieved on my own and felt sure I could improve.

“I began doing two high-intensity sessions a week with Henry’s squad as well as three nights a week on my own.

“The training is tough, involving hills, beaches, distance repeats, sprints and longer runs, but I enjoy being part of a team. Pushing each other delivers results. It’s competitive but we encourage each other too.”

As well as changing his training regime Marcus also changed his diet.

He added: “I decided that putting all this effort into training would be pointless if I didn’t cut down on, or replace, things such as fatty foods, takeaways, sweets and alcohol, especially in the weeks before a race. I also began getting regular sports massages to avoid injury.”

And all his hard work has certainly paid off! Last year Marcus set personal bests in all his race distances and had his first two race wins.

“I like the 10k best because it’s not too long and a slightly slower pace than the 5k,” he said. “I find it a struggle to fit in the high mileage needed for half and full marathons.”

The Runner’s World Award was for being the most improved at 10k. His personal best for 10k in 2014 was 37 mins 53 secs and in 2015 his personal best was 33 mins 53 secs.

His coach Henry Gray commented that in his 40 years of coaching he has never seen an athlete improve so much in such a short period. Praise indeed.