Chasing Boston: Tim Rigby’s journey to marathon’s mainstageJune 5, 2019 | by Lucy Fox
As he turned the final corner of the BMO Half Marathon, Fortius physiotherapist and strength & conditioning coach Tim Rigby found himself taking his last strides through Vancouver’s iconic skyline. To his right, the West End. To his left, Coal Harbour and the North Shore mountains. For the Australian, it was a surreal moment in a new city.
He crossed the finish line in 1:14.41 – 18th overall in a field of hundreds.
“To be honest, I was just happy to get under the time that I wanted to, which was by about a minute,” Rigby said.
It was a timely result too, with an attempt at a Boston Marathon qualifying time just around the corner.
Since arriving in Vancouver, his races — including the BMO Half Marathon and the Sun Run — have all been a part of his training towards the St. Jude Rock n’ Roll Marathon in Seattle on Sunday, June 9. The event is Rigby’s ticket to the Boston Marathon should he run a qualifying time.
The winner of last year’s Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Seattle finished in 2:33:22. Third place finished with a time of 2:42:58.
Rigby’s goal this year is to race a 2:40:00.
His strategy, in part, has been focused on using the Fortius Lab to help refine his race time. With a V02Max test, Rigby has worked to hone in on his optimal race pace and heart rate zones.
“A lot of runners and triathletes are massive technology geeks. They’ve got all the equipment… they go off all that when they’re training, where I’ve always kind of just been a bit of a cowboy, really — I just go off kind of feel. But the zones they give you in the Fortius Lab mean you don’t need to go and get all the fancy equipment. You can run to pace and time,” Rigby said. “That was really easily implemented in training and helped heaps.”
As a strength and conditioning coach at Fortius, Rigby has access to the Fitness & Performance Centre for weight training and treadmill running. He has also been using PowerWatts, Fortius’ power-based indoor cycling classes, to cross-train twice a week.
Currently, Rigby runs about 80 km a week — about an hour a day, roughly. Add in PowerWatts and strength training, and he is training about 10 hours a week.
To a seasoned marathon runner like Rigby, this is the norm.
Throughout his career, Rigby has competed in over 20 triathlons, 20 half marathons — around 2 a year for the past 14 years — and three marathons.
And his passion for running doesn’t end with race season.
“Once you get into running, it’s definitely an addictive sport. I do use it to compete for sure, to get times and things like that, but … it’s just a lifestyle choice now. When I go away, when I go traveling, I love to go and just run around cities and different towns and places I haven’t been before,” Rigby explained. “But after I finish the marathon and through summer, I’ll just be running for the joy of it, just to run around Stanley Park and explore North Vancouver and explore places up North into like the Sunshine Coast, the Okanagan, and all that kind of stuff.
“It’s a way of life at the moment for sure. It’s a hobby as well, not just a sport.”
*** Update ***
Rigby finished the St. Jude Rock N’ Roll Seattle Marathon with a time of 2:42:14 — third place!
The time qualifies him for the Boston Marathon; registration for the event opens in September.