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Michael Kallenberg out to retain Run Norwich title despite injury setback

Michael Kallenberg is out to defend his Run Norwich title this weekend. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Michael Kallenberg is out to defend his Run Norwich title this weekend. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Michael Kallenberg will be back to defend his Run Norwich title this weekend despite an injury interrupted year.

The 27-year-old, who swept to victory in a new course record time of 31:12 last year, has been recovering from suffering a stress fracture at the Armagh 5K in February. The injury sidelined him for almost three months but he has been building his fitness back up and will toe the start line on Sunday looking for another victory.

Kallenberg admits it has been a tough year but will be giving his all to keep pace with 2015 and 2016 winner Nick Earl and fellow City of Norwich Athletic Club Ash Harrell.

MORE: New record set at Run Norwich 2017

“If I’m honest, it’ll be tough to improve on last year’s time given the way this year has gone,” he said. “Nick Earl is a class act too, and Ash Harrell is very talented, so they’ll be tough to beat. All I can tell you is I’ll give it 100 percent when that gun goes.”

RAF member Kallenberg remembers last year’s win fondly, not least because shortly after taking victory he had to hot-foot it to London to take part in a medal ceremony at the World Athletics Championship.

“Last year I decided I would try to get out hard and just see how I went from there,” he said. “There were many familiar faces running, including Ash Harrell. From 2K in, I had a gap and from there I just had to focus on maintaining form and not blowing up. The crowd helped to push me around the course, particularly over the last 1K where it got really tough.

“As soon as I had finished the race, I had to pretty much head straight to the train station! Being a member of the RAF, I was fortunate enough to be flag bearing at the World Athletics Championships in London that day so I had to dash back for the Marathon medal ceremony.”

While Kallenberg will be at the front end of the race it is the thousands of other runners that make the event such a spectacle for many. So what would be Kallenberg’s advice to anyone tackling the course?

“Enjoy it. The crowd are brilliant and it’s a great course, so soak it up and enjoy the run out. If you’re pushing hard for a time, hold a little back for the last kilometre, it’s a tough one when you’re tired.”

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