What better way…….

What better way is there to spend a lunchtime in the City than sitting in Costa’s, a cup of coffee to hand and reading about all the races you could have done over the weekend?

Well there was the little matter of a 26.2 mile stroll around the Capital this weekend that some of you have heard of. It was the 37th running of the Virgin Money London Marathon which saw a number of first time marathoners toeing the line along with some more experienced at this distance.  Our 2 club places this year were drawn out at Christmas with Rodger Alexander and Paul Hollidge the lucky recipients of these entries.

Hollidge provided a runners eye view of day starting with catching the Bentley bus which arrived nice and early in Greenwich park, which saw entry, toilets and bag drop all really well organised. Hollidge headed to the start at 09:30 for the longest of long half hour waits for the actual race to start. The first near injury was a pulled shoulder whilst trying to take his top off without removing the “keep warm” bin liner first!!! The 10:00 start was punctual and after only a few minutes the start line was actually crossed, the first few miles very busy, which helped Hollidge to set a sensible pace!

Not long after he was overtaken by a pink lady apple at about mile 5, then received rapturous applause from the Bentley supporters at mile 7 as well as all the many thousands of people who turned out to cheer the runners on, his pace at this stage was still ok. The half distance was completed in target time which was boosted by the great sight of seeing everyone running across Tower Bridge. At mile 17 there was more great Bentley support which was welcome more than ever as tiredness was really starting to kick in. The last few miles were really tough but another target was reached as Hollidge overtook the pink lady apple and shook off the giant chilli pepper that had been trading places with him for many miles. There was great support all the way along embankment and the Mall which welcomed the finish line and saw Hollidge set a PB knocking about two and a half minutes off his previous best finishing in 3:40:34. After collecting the well earned Medal and goodies, a quick stretch was undertaken before a pie and a pint were quaffed at a local pub!

Alexander meanwhile also had a good run completing the 26.2 miles in 4:23:34. Graham Semple, Ryan Day and Jess Alexander ran their maiden marathons and all set some great times, Day finishing in 3:14:09, Semple in 3:49:05 and Alexander in 4:50:44. It was Dave Goldsmith who was the first Bentley vest over the line in what must be a very frustrating, but equally fast, time of 3:00:51. Not far behind with the award for best presented marathon nails was Meera Rajoo Oakley in a time of 3:36:54 which earns her ninth place on the top 10 Bentley ladies marathon runs list!

Chusa Batis recorded a club championship time of 4:10:13 which after her period of injury is a brilliant result.  Club newcomer Rob Blackman also ran a great race recording a excellent time of 4:18:58. From all the Twitter and Facebook posts it looks like our runners weren’t short of support with Debs and Vicky also making sure that Ryan was OK after he put everything into his run.  Well done to everyone, it was great fun watching the race unfold on the telly as well as social media.

[A selection of images from Sunday in London, from the left Chusa ready to go, those nails, Graham’s kit, Support and the group photo]

Over in Hamburg Jamie Neill and Steve Black ran the Hamburg Marathon, Neill finished in 4:44:26, unfortunately, Black pulled out at around seven miles due to injury, getting a DNF is never an easy decision to make but in most cases is the sensible thing to do. Not wanting to miss out Mr Marathon Paul Blackwell notched up marathon numbers 126 and 127 over the weekend. 126 was the Wonderland Caucus race which was a 6 hour challenge, Blackwell completed an ultra of 30 miles. On Sunday number 127 was completed at the St Georges Day marathon at Samphire Hoe.

Ben Finken left puglier Janice at home this week and took on the 20km Warrior Adrenaline Race, WAR!, well it would have been 20km but for the wrong turn Finken took along the way. The course was made up of obstacles at the start and finish of the cross country run which Finken completed in 2:03:42.

Doubling up the exercise was Geraldine Springett who raced in the Great New they dualthon, a 20k bike ride (45:30) was bookended by 4km runs (17:46 and 18:25) giving a total race time of 1:23:41.

Lee Clarkson ran the first race in the Maldon 5k summer series finishing in 21:25. As usual Saturday saw the running of the weekly parkrun at various locations across the country with 7 different events being run by Blue vests this weekend. Colchester Castle park saw the largest amount of runners this week with Debs Cubberley setting the pace for young Megan Hughes to gain a PB with a time of 29:00, Cubberley finishing 4 seconds later. Craig Warriner had a top ten finish, 9th in fact in 18:59. Rich Moor (20:11), Malcolm Jarvis (21:25), Andy Stephens (23:38), Lee Clarkson, who paced a friend round, (24:27) and Louise Upston (29:22) all braved the hill twice.

megan.png[Megan Hughes’ PB finish]

John Bush took the trip into Suffolk to run a course PB in Ipswich running 31:06, Paul Connell also raced round Maldon in a 5k PB time of a swift 20:26.  Jake Darkins went to County Town Chelmsford to run their course in 19:46. Clacton Seafront saw Ray Baggs come home third in 19:37, Rob Thorpe was fifth in 20:33 who was chased by Charlie Keitch and Cassius in his buggy who completed his “buggy best” time of 21:04.  The ever improving Brian Telford was next home in 22:55 followed by Scott Young (23:25), Liz Jones (29:19) and Alison Clarke 31:11.

The James’ Kevin and Sandra ran the promenade at Harwich finishing in 22:50 and 34:41 respectively. Finally, over at Mersea country park James McCullagh completed the cross country course in 21:43.