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Marathon stars

Report April 15/16 2023


The spring marathon season really got going this weekend with members starring in Manchester and Newport. Dave Musgrave ran a strong 3.02.21 at Newport although an increasingly painful Achilles problem pushed him, just, over the much sought after 3 hour line. Leo Crawford was not so far behind finishing in 3.33.44. Howard Ewan was further back and achieved his target of getting friend James round sub 4.30. Newport marathon remains relatively small in numbers but as it is both flat and fairly local it comes highly recommended – make a plan for next year?

When you read below what both Jo Musk and Harrie Siebenaller have to say about Manchester you could be forgiven for thinking marathons are easy – all you have to do is keep on skipping round! But this is not always true - marathons can be long and tough and the last six miles can prove a massive challenge. Gary Wood is a case in point – his first 20 miles went well and he was confident his many months of training were paying off when all too suddenly he was “done” – call it the wall or what you will - he will not the be the first or the last to find themselves grinding out those last few miles mostly walking. Our congratulations to Garry and Jo and Harrie.

Jo’s 3:28:42 took some 5 minutes from our LV40 club record which has stood for some 34 years. (only the most long term of members will remember the inspirational Mollie Fisher who welcomed me so nicely into the club in the early 80’s when “women didn’t really do this kind of thing”) Jo’s time was the 6th fastest for a female club member ever (even more impressive when you read that she didn’t really get back to “real” running after baby no 3 until the beginning of this year) and Harrie joins her in the top 10.


First Jo picks up the story:

After a challenging final few weeks in the lead-up to race day, my main feeling is relief to have finished my first marathon and hit my sub 3:30 target. I’m really pleased with my pacing again. It was an extremely busy race and I spent a long time dodging through the crowds, but found my groove by 10 miles and managed to run a really consistent pace from them on and finished really strong over the last 800m. I was waiting for the dreaded wall, but it never came. I have to thank Brian Harris for that – I followed all his advice, got my nutrition and hydration right and tried as best I could to hold myself back in the early stages. Now I reflect a day on, I am very proud of myself. I’ve intended to do a marathon for at least 20 years so I’m glad it’s finally done and I’m pleased with my effort 13 months on from having a baby and off a very low running base, having started training again at the end of December. The plan is to have a go at London next year, assuming my time gets me a good for age entry.

But Harrie seems to have had even more fun:

Manchester Marathon lived up to its reputation as one of the friendliest marathons with brilliant crowds and supporters across the city. A highlight for me had to be the residents of a care home just after the half way mark who were all sat lining the street cheering despite the rainy spell that was passing through. The weather couldn’t really have been better as even that light drizzle was very welcome at that point! I was really happy with my pacing and achieved a better than expected time so was pleased crossing the finish line! It was lovely and really appreciated having so many messages from Ciren AC members who’d been tracking my progress and cheering me on from afar!

If members would like to do more tracking there will be at least six members running in London next weekend – Brian Harris (4987), Joyce Matthews (33537),Chris Miller (40711), Tom Purnell (40741), Nick Wall (9674) and Kate Sackett (9279) and pwe wish them all the very best.

At the other end of the road running continuum, club members were to be found running in 12 different parkruns around the nation. Tom Purnell was first at Lydiard with 16:49 and Wendy Nicholls was 4th and first lady at Seven Fields with 20:30. While The Stickney family took the opportunity whilst on holiday to run the Eden Parkrun, in Cornwall, and the three children all ran PBs : Joe (12) came 5th in 19:31, with Robbie his twin 9th (20:19) and older sister Bella (14) 28th in 22:03. All three were over 70% age/gender rated with Joe over 75%.

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