In the final event for the New Zealand team at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Malcolm Hicks (Auckland) and Caden Shields (Otago) lined up for the midnight marathon in 50% humidity and a temperature of 29 degrees.
Malcolm and Caden both slowly worked their way through the field, moving from 54th and 55th respectively at the halfway point to 34th and 37th at the 30km mark. Malcom finished 27th with a final time of 2:17:45 and Caden was 30th over the line in 2:18:08. The race winner Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia finished in 2:10:40.
“The first group went out really quick and Caden and I ran a really conservative first half through about 69 minutes just together all the way, and we felt really comfortable,” said Malcolm. “Both of us ran a fantastic second half and moved our way through the field.”
“I was really happy with the way I ran. I was only two and a half minutes off my personal best, which in these conditions is awesome,” said Caden. “I didn’t feel the heat really the whole race. I just focussed on fuelling and keeping a good rhythm and maintaining my form, going strong. I think when you’re in a race it just becomes a race and time’s just information, so we ran a bit slower than what we would in better conditions but I think considering how the rest of the endurance events have gone, we really ran to our potential tonight – I think we did ourselves proud.”
“The amount of support we had on the course was phenomenal,” added Malcolm. “I wasn’t expecting it in Doha, little old New Zealand. It was amazing to have two black singlets out there. First time we’ve had a male marathon in a championship in a while, so we’re both really proud to be out there and hopefully it just continues and we get more black singles on the start line in the future.”