What a great London marathon for the club! We had five runners out there pounding the damp streets and all five produced results to be massively proud of.
Brian Harris knocked a cool 5 minutes from his own MV60 record when he finished in 3:15:01 and Kate Sackett’s 3:53:45 took more than 12 minutes from an FV60 record set many years ago by one Liza Darroch. But equally exciting were Chris Miller’s 2:48:46 run bringing him within 1 minute of his own M45 record, Tom Purnell’s 2:51:13 saw him cross the line not far from 1,500th runner and smashing any under 3 hour target and Joyce Matthews set a great new PB with 3:34:54.
Chris Miller was our first in, running his 11th London in 12 years (last year he dipped out to run Boston) but still was thrilled by the crowd, the family support at Bird Cage Walk and catching up with Tom Purnell at the start. His race went largely to plan until about 35k when his hamstrings started to grumble making the effort increase and the pace slow – but only slightly - and Tom was only about 3 minutes behind.
Brian Harris also had to slow (ever so slightly) having successfully nursed a threatening hamstring from Mile 11.
Joyce Matthews ran a new PB despite stopping to help a fellow runner along the way and, to carry on from a theme of last week, she now joins the group of our top ten fastest women marathon runners and we wait with interest to see what she can do in Chicago in the autumn.
Last but definitely not least this year's training had been far from ideal for Kate Sackett so she was both pleased and relieved to finish and to maintain a sub 9 minute mile pace to the end – not to mention to set a new club record in the process.
Finally spare a thought for Nick Wall whose long and dedicated training programme got him in a great position to crack the elusive 4 hour barrier and so it took real courage and wisdom to defer at the 11th hour (he had already arrived in his London accommodation) with a dodgy knee.
And spare another thought for Paul and Sam Timms who, as every year, joined the British Airways team around Westminster Square and Bird Cage walk and so were able to provide a couple of these great photos. They had a very long day finishing at 8 pm but it was good to hear that they found the Extinction Rebellion protesters were “friendly, orderly and supportive”.
While runners in London had to cope with drizzle and even rain Martin Croucher chose a lovely day to run 37.4 miles on Saturday. It took him around seven and a half hours making him 3rd to complete the distance in a series of hilly laps.
James Widdowson was unable to resist the lure of the track and his first attempt at a very friendly open meet in Gloucester enabled him to knock 45 seconds off his 5k road race time. We gather an athletics track meet which normally attracts some 200 was a huge success with over 500 coming from all over the South West.
Lots of parkrunning too. Dominated by Luke Campbell zipping around Victoria dock in 15.55, he was first, like Brecht Grieten at Cirencester and there were three 3rd places – Isobel Watt (also first woman), Zac Humphries and Adam Harborow.