Next up on our Harrier Highlight is Marc Henrion! You'll best know Marc as the Harrier up at the front of the workout with those bounding locks of hair that makes the mighty god Thor stir with envy. Check out our Q&A with Marc below to learn more about him!
NAME: Marc Henrion
OCCUPATION: Postdoctoral fellow in genetic & genomic sciences.
MONTH/YEAR YOU JOINED THE HARRIERS: March 2015
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RACE? There's too many great races out there, and it would depend on my mood what race I would prefer over which other at any particular time. On most days I would probably say the Urban Trail in Luxembourg. They keep changing the course and distances you can choose from slightly every year, but the two distances that are usually run are a ~12-13km and a ~34-37km course. It's an incredibly scenic, incredibly tough, but also incredibly fun race. Basically you get to run up and down the remaining fortifications of the 19th century Luxembourg fortress (parts of which date back to medieval times) and the longer distances take you into the surrounding hills and woods.
For pure racing, it's got to be the South of England Athletic Association cross country championships (the years it is held on Parliament Hill) - 10 long miles of muddy, all-out racing across beautiful Hampstead Heath; it starts with a solid 500m steep uphill dash to get everyone warmed-up. Your day is usually over after that race and you go back to bed - it is that tough.
For personal reasons I also tremendously enjoy the St. Neots Half marathon: the last 3 miles are downhill, which is such a psychological boost that I have set almost all of my half marathon PRs on this course. I also won my first silverware (the 3rd man in the winning men's team) and broke 1h20min for the first time at that race.
New York has its own great races and I am particularly fond of the guerrilla-style urban races, of which the Take the Bridge series is a great example.
WHAT PR ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? My marathon PR at the Abingdon Marathon in October 2013 (2:44). 2:45 is the qualifying time for the UK club championship start at the London marathon for men under 40. So this was a target that I wanted to break for a very long time. I got very close the year before at the London marathon (2h46) and this was the last eligible race to get the time for the next London marathon. It got close again, but this time I was on the right side of the threshold. The finish is on a running track and racing down the finishing line while knowing I would make the time was an all-time high. Exhaustion never felt so good.
WHAT'S THE MOST REWARDING DRINK AFTER A HARD RACE? A pint of milk.
IF YOU COULD DO A LONG RUN WITH ANYONE (FICTIONAL OR NON-FICTIONAL), WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? Sisyphus -- that guy has stamina.
WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER HOBBIES BESIDES RUNNING? Criss-crossing the US at the moment, hiking & sleeping under the stars, scuba diving, cycling and building stuff like this: http://marc-henrion.dyndns.org/routeHeat.html
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BOOK TO READ WHILE CUDDLING BY THE FIRE? I'm always good for some good quality sci-fi: Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Urusula K. Le Guin or similar.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE HARRIERS MOMENT?
Winning the best hair prize
YOU'RE ABOUT TO START YOUR RUN AND PUT IN YOUR HEADPHONES. WHAT JAM ARE YOU RUNNING TO?
CLOSING COMMENTS? THIS IS YOUR SOAPBOX MOMENT!
It's been a blast so far. Thanks for welcoming me to the team last year. It's been a good many happy miles so far, as well as the odd beer now and then.
Harriers are so great, for so many reasons but two stand-outs are having a race prize category created that only I could realistically qualify for (idem for Nadja on the women's side) and having a fellow Harrier looking after my cats while I was away for a couple of days (see first other hobby).