I’m not sure there is anywhere else to start this weekend than on Sunday which saw the 38th annual running of the London Marathon with some 40,000 runners expected on the start line on what was reported as the hottest weather for the event in its history. We had 11 blue shirts toeing the line for this great event but it would be amiss of me to start with anyone else than Janine Simpson who joined the 100 club completing her 100th Marathon in London. Well done Janine I have no intention of running more than the 1 I’ve done so I don’t think I can ever imagine what running 100 would feel like! Janine’s time for the record was 5:94:14.
The ladies representation vastly outweighed the number of men’s runners and it should be no surprise that Vicky Presland registered another good for age time (so ensuring entry for next year) finishing in 3:26:17. Caroline Searle ran a brilliant race which resulted in her posting a personal best time of 4:57:35. Eileen Shadford (3:35:03), Meera Rajoo-Oakley (3:50:00), Anna Mills (3:52:29), Emma Town (4:24:48) and Leoni Harvey (6:16:54) all completed the 26:2 in the stifling conditions. For the men Dave Goldsmith (3:25:46), Tom Fowler (3:29:33) and Kevin Stevens (4:07:43) all ran excellent races.
[Meera, Eileen and Anna enjoy post marathon sun and Janine’s 100th]
The VLM wasn’t the only marathon going on this weekend David Wright travelled to the south coast to run the Southampton marathon which is a 2 lap affair with half marathoners completing the first lap leaving the marathon runners to complete a slightly lonely second lap. After posting a superb 13.1 mile time of 1:31 for the first lap, David expected the hot conditions to take their toll which they did but a finish time of 3:22:58 is an excellent result.
Over in Iceland Nick Goodman ran the Reyjkyavik Spring Marathon which was his first 26.2 race in a brilliant time of 3:54:29. This race takes you through the green and most beautiful parts of Reykjavik starting in Elliðaárdalur in the east part of the city at the bank of the Elliðaá salmon river and goes through Fossvogur valley, by the sea side south of the city to the west side and back the same way. The entire course is on asphalted trails only crossing a few roads. This is a small an friendly marathon and enables runners to “experience the grass roots of the running culture in Iceland”.
[Nick Goodman and Icelandic bling]
Slightly closer to home, in Heybridge to be precise, the 9th Essex Walkers challenge; which offers a 27 mile or an 18 mile route; takes place cross country on public footballs, bridleways and country lanes saw Anthea Colsell and Geraldine Springett navigate both the long course to finish in 5:54. Neil Robins and Su Perman took on the shorter course finishing 9th with their run/walk strategy in 5:55. Paul Carlisle and Adam Smith also took the challenge however, their result wasn’t known at the time of writing.
Well done to all our long distance runners the conditions this weekend were a challenge themselves so hats off to some excellent performances!
So to parkrun and firstly our tourists, this week supplied by team Cubberlidge at Liverpool and Andy Stephens at Finsbury whilst I’m not sure that the Preslands going to Clacton actually counts it is technically tourism (and it was mentioned at the run briefing!). So at Princes Parkrun in Liverpool which sees the runners doing 2 circuits of the park and then finishing in the middle Paul Hollidge ran another swift time of 20:56 with Debs Cubberley finishing in 27:06. Andy Stephens visited Finsbury parkrun which again is a 2 lap course of the park and finished in 21:43.
At the “technically tourism but not” run at Clacton a healthy 9 Bentley runners turned out Adam Smith continued his fine form with a 1st place finish in 17:39, Ray Baggs was not far behind in 3rd in 19:41, Phil Presland bagged a parkrun PB with 21:45, Richard Moor (22:08), Scott Young (22:48), Brian Telford (24:14), Kieron Hayes (26:23) and Alison Clarke (31:13) completed the Blue field. Milly Presland ran Clacton for the first time and was the first female finisher in 20:38. The flatter coastal parkruns seem to be attracting us at the moment as people search for some great times; securing another Silver Standard and a PB at Harwich was Mags Komorowska finishing in 23:07 which is a whopping 1 min 32 second PB. Emily Zethraeus was the first blue vest to break the tape in 21:56, there is an inter-family affair going on in the Groves household team Meatball (Luke and Meatball) finishing in 24:54 with team Noah (Claire and Noah in a buggy) finishing in 25:21 (to be honest the sensible money is on team Noah to smash this one over the summer!). Tomas Komorowski had another fine run (23:07) with Toni Wilson (24:39) completing the field.
Colchester Castle saw less blue vests than normal, maybe due to the it being run on the dreaded orange route, but it was notable seeing Chusa Batis back at parkrun although this was a walk for her finishing in 46:33, its good to see Chusa on the road back. A fine 4th place finish was bagged by Ryan Day (18:24) with Russell Clarke (21:43), Colin Farmer (24:40) and James McCullugh (29:28) completing the 3 runs up the hill. Further down the Essex coast at Maldon saw Paul Connell continue his fine form with a brilliant 18:46 at the prom run and over in Ipswich John Bush ran the Christchurch Park winter course in 33:31.