There were some excellent performances from both our own and other local athletes in the 2015 Virgin London Marathon. Here's Barry's report.
Overcast, damp and chilly weather greeted the many local runners who made the trip south for Sunday's London Marathon In these near perfect conditions, several Nene Valley Harriers enjoyed excellent races, with Tracy McCartney and Olly Slater the star performers, whilst Stamford based elite athlete Aaron Scott won the bronze medal for finishing 3rd male in the men's British Athletics Championship rac.
McCartney made her debut over the 26 miles 385 yards distance at London last year, and was disappointed to just miss out on her target of a sub 3 hour marathon. She made up for last year's setback in style on Sunday, coming home in a time of 2:55.54, which placed her in the first 50 women.The international triathlete ran a tactically astute race, only slowing slightly in the last 5 miles, by which stage her target time of under 3 hours was secure. It was very much a family affair for the McCartney's, with husband Ian playing 2nd fiddle, despite his time of 3:15.25.
Olly Slater also went under 3 hours for the first time, and was the first Harrier home clocking a time of 2:55.26. Slater paced himself superbly and was only 2 minutes slower in the 2nd half of the race than he was over the first 13 miles.
Abi Schofield has made huge strides since joining Nene Valley a year ago. Schofield ran strongly throughout, and it seems likely that she will progress beyond her impressive 3:07.05 in future years.
Nene Valley Veteran's Chris Mooney and Lance Hemmings both ran well,crossing the line in times of 3:02.40 and 3:03.51 respectively, whilst clubmate Barry Warne overcame a persistent injury to complete his 14th marathon, but a lack of fitness caused by restricted training showed, as he completed the course in 3:24.16.
Carry Murphy ran well, and although just going over 4 hours, her time of 4:02.56 represented a big personal best, as did Darren Warner's 3:21.13.
Many other runners from the area were in action, and predictably Stamford based ace Aaron Scott, representing Notts AC, was the first local athlete home. As well as taking the bronze medal in the British Athletics Championship race for non sponsored runners, Scott finished 5th British runner and 22nd male overalL in a speedy time of 2:20.49. This was a PB by nearly 2 minutes for Scott, who came close to withdawing in the run up to the race because of a virus. He is likely to target an autumn marathon in a quest to obtain his goal time of 2:16 Steve Robinson's fine time of 2:32.05 was good enough for the Peterborough AC member to complete the race as 2nd local and the 67th male finisher.
All the local running clubs were represented in the marathon, and many runners produced fine performances, none more impressive than that of Werrington Jogger Martin Stevens who, remarkably, ran his 13th sub 3 hour marathon of the last ten years. Stevens is a past master at pacing his races, and finished 39 seconds inside his 3 hour target on Sunday. Team mate Jeffrey Lucas was first home for the joggers, crossing the line in 2:50.19.
Amongst the other notable performers were veteran Geraldine Larham of March AC who finished in 3:18.11, whist the Stamford Striders pair of James Skinner and Jim Morris dipped under the 2:50 mark.James Mogridge representing Yaxley Runners ran an impressive 2:40.44, and evergreen 60 year old Thorney Runner Eamonn Dorling, who was the first local athlete to finish the London Marathon in 1985, finished 15th in his age group in 3:12.45.