Hard winter’s training and perfect spring time conditions resulted in some superb lifetime best performances from Teignbridge Trotters at the weekend.
In Taunton, Adam Johnston finally got his hands on the holy grail of club marathon running by logging his first sub-three-hour finish. In perfect conditions, he clocked a highly respectable 2:50:08 to finish 5th overall and third in the over 35s.
There was also ‘good for age’ times bagged by Allen Taylor (M40 – 3:11:00, 25th), Roger Hayes (M50 3:13:32, 28th), Lance Mason (M55 – 3:19:08, 34th) and Paul Sharples (M60 - 3:39:41, 68th) to secure the quartet automatic qualifiers for London. Hayes, Mason and Sharples were all second in their respective age categories, whilst Taylor was fourth.
Befitting a glorious race for the club, Christian Robinson slashed 15 minutes from his previous best, clocking 3:30:06 for 47th. Other Trotter finishers were Garrie Edwards (3:23:42, 39th), Martin Randall (3:25:34, 45th), Kris Ward (3:37:33, 62nd), Neil Pallant (3:56:19, 96th), Gavin Forbes (03:56:19 PB, 97th), Derek Skinner (3:58:36, 107th), Travis Wood (3:59:28) and Richard Keatley (4:52:55, 167th).
In the half marathon event, club record holder Jamie Barnett tuned up for the London Marathon by winning the event in a scintillating 1:11:31, a mere second outside his best from last year.
There were was further prize winning performances from Geoff Davey (M40 3rd, 1:22:34), Jacki Woon (F50 1st, 1:36:06), Tracey Elphick (F45 3rd, 1:36:15) and Bob Smal (M70 2nd, 1:51:03).
Sarah Pike took five minutes off her previous best, clocking an excellent 1:38:59 (175th) and Scot Wiggins took 10mins off his previous best (01:32:29, 95th). There were also well-deserved finishers medals for Peter Blakesley (1:38:10, 167th), Nigel Barnett (1:40:50, 206th), Kathryn Steemson (1:41:23, 214th), Craig Churchill (1:45:49, 310th), and Eamon Crowe (2:00:00, 569th).
Whilst Trotters were shining in the South West, another healthy contingent were no less successful in North West taking on the Greater Manchester Marathon, where conditions were equally conducive to fast distance running - cool, calm and dry.
Oli Prouse described himself as “over the moon” with his performance as he led home the Trotters taking a massive 34 minutes off his previous best time, clocking 3:42:55 (2841st). He was followed home by another Kevin Sampson, who also clocked a new PB (3:52:10, 3620th), Peter Kirby (4:02:41, 4677th) and David Taylor (4:09:37, 5107th).
Taylor had headed into the event carrying a knee injury, but still placed 4th in the M70 class.
Closer to home there were three Trotters taking part in the Exe to Axe race organised by Sidmouth Running Club. On a undulating coastal run, Jim Donovan was 102nd in 4:22:19, Wendy Goldthorp was 144th in 4:46:53 and Emma Donovan was 184th in 5:25:12.