British govt official in Delhi beats pollution with indoor training for marathon

- March 2, 2024

Last weekend in Delhi, Isherwood finished second in half marathon (21km) in 45-55 years category. He clocked 1:19:37

MOTIVATED: Jonathan Isherwood took up running after he attended a motivational course in 2012

Jonathan Isherwood’s idol during his school-days was British runner Sebastian Coe, a former world record holder and two-time Olympic champion in 1500m. 

Coe is currently chief of the World Athletics — the global governing body of track and field. 

“I admired Seb Coe during my school-days. But didn’t believe in myself that I could run,” says the 49-year-old official of the British High Commission in New Delhi.

A motivational course back in 2012 in England changed Isherwood’s concept towards life. 

“The negative thoughts vanished and I started believing in myself that I can do it,” Isherwood told Patriot

According to Isherwood, he started enjoying running in his mid-30s. 

A year after attending a motivational course, he completed the 2013 London Marathon. “I ran London Marathon to raise funds for cancer patients. It was an exciting experience for me,” the father of two kids added.

Last weekend in Delhi, Isherwood finished second in half marathon (21km) in 45-55 years category. He clocked 1:19:37. 

“It was a perfect race for me. The goal was the break one hour 20 minutes barrier for the half marathon (21km). I’m happy that I was successful in achieving that target on Sunday (February 25),” said the elated Isherwood. 

Isherwood has been based in Delhi at the British High Commission office for the past one year. He is allergic to pollution and has to train indoors when the air pollution level is bad in the Capital. 

“I log my regular miles on the treadmill,” he disclosed. “I run outdoors when the air is clean.”

It has been almost a decade since he started running and has established himself as an avid distance runner.  He usually logs between six to 15 miles a day, while long runs of 20 miles are reserved for weekends. “I’ve to get up early in the morning to run and then rush to office,” Isherwood added. “On Sundays, there is no office. That is a good opportunity to run longer and harder.”

He has competed in major marathons across the globe including the Berlin Marathon in Germany. In almost all the marathon races he has clocked an average time of two hours 50 minutes. His personal best over the marathon distance is 2 hours 42 minutes, clocked at the Chicago Marathon.

His next target is the 2024 London Marathon in April. “The half marathon last weekend was a good platform to test my preparation,” he added.