Tuer unsound but optimistic as he tackles New York marathon
North Yorkshire farmer-trainer Grant Tuer departs from his usual weekend routine this morning when he joins more than 50,000 fellow runners weaving their way through the five boroughs of New York in the world's biggest marathon.
However, while he is loving his first trip to America and was pleased have found an Irish bar in which he could watch the Breeders' Cup, he warned that his recent form figures would not inspire confidence in punters.
The 43-year-old former amateur, who rode 46 winners in hunter chases and point-to-points and was third in Cheltenham's Foxhunter Chase on Trade Dispute in 2000, said: "I really prepared for the York marathon, which was a month ago, and in which I managed three hours fifty-four minutes.
"I was thrilled with that as my target has been four hours, but since then I've followed the advice of doing two or three ten kilometre jogs and I've been pulled up lame each time. I think if I were a racehorse you'd be saying I need more time between races!"
He added: "I only took up running two or three years ago in a bit of a mid-life crisis, and when I began I hadn't ridden for about seven years and I couldn't manage two miles. My first 10k race was only two years ago and this opportunity came a bit out of the blue."
Tuer, who was quite overwhelmed by the scale of the New York City Marathon when he found at registration that the 'saddlecloth' numbers went up to 71,000, hopes he can run through the pain.
He said: "I've got niggling joint and other issues, and I'm doing this on a bit of a wing and a prayer, but while I'm actually running I'm okay. It's when I stop that it hurts.
"But I'm not alone. I'm one of 20 running for a Teesside company called Sound Training, who are raising money for the Schools Hardship Fund, which was set up to work with schools to provide vital support to some of the least privileged families and children in the area. It's going to be tough, but it's going to be good."