The waiting game paid off handsomely for Nick Torry.
The Serpentine RC runner takes his rightful place in an England vest on July 27 at Glasgow Green’s start line after posting the required time as far back to the Frankfurt marathon in October last year.
Torry ran a GB 2013 best 2:15:08 that got him within 38 seconds of the World Championships A standard.
Not only was he first Brit in Frankfurt, but third European in any category, never mind the plus 35-plus division he won hands down.
The 37-year-old member of the Hyde Park club gambled that no homegrown would run faster before selection, and along with 40-year-old Steve Way and Ben Moreau, 32, completes the oldest marathon men’s team wearing white in the history of the Games.
Not that it worries Martin Rush.
The man in charge of UK’s Event Lead Endurance and former Olympian was part of the selection panel that rubber-stamped Torry’s selection, and supposes the City banker will have plenty in reserve by the time he sets off to cross the River Clyde four times on a three-lap loop.
“Nick has performed consistently well in shorter races since Frankfurt, and has managed to separate preparation from his other life,” he added.
The ‘other life’ demands Torry don suit and tie after running to work from Crystal Palace before fitting in an evening session.
On one occasion, and because time was running short, the bespectacled runner hoofed it to Battersea Park from work, and then completed a half-marathon at race pace before dragging his weary body homeward.
The whole day, including the mooring run, was maybe a mile or two short of the full marathon distance.
Torry then raced and won the last Metropolitan League Cross Country race at Wormwood Scrubs two days later.
“Age is just a number,” Rush said. “I have every confidence Nick will be ready to run the equivalent of a personal best at the Games.
“It might not be possible to run a PB, because this is championship racing. Tactics, weather, and the dynamics of the race all play a part, but will he do well? His best time puts him in the top eight.”
The irony is that to win a medal, Torry would probably be better off at the European Championships in Zurich that start August 12.
Kenya is part of the Commonwealth and they dominate distance running.
At the world class Athletissima meet in Lausanne on Thursday, the first 10 in the steeplechase were all from that country. And if they were to falter, Uganda will be there as well, remembering Stephen Kiprotich won Olympic gold in 2012 by heading off two top Kenyans.
But this is a race where even the best sometimes struggle.
“It requires a different mindset to just racing for a time,” Rush explained. “Nick’s organisation and dedication suggests he has it.”