On Sunday 28th April 2019, The Virgin Money London Marathon took place.
Twenty six Teignbridge Trotters made the journey to the capital for this prestigious event. The race was founded by Chris Brasher, Olympic champion & journalist, and athlete John Disley, in 1981. In addition to being one of the top six international marathons, the London marathon is a huge celebratory sporting festival that has raised over £450 million since 1981!!
The course began at three separate points: the 'red start' in southern Greenwich Park on Charlton Way, the 'green start' in St John's Park, and the 'blue start' on Shooter's Hill Road. From these points around Blackheath, south of the River Thames, the route heads east through Charlton. The three courses converge after 4.5 km in Woolwich, close to the Royal Artillery Barracks. As the runners reached the 10 km mark, they passed by the Old Royal Navy College and headed towards Cutty Sark in Greenwich. Heading next into Deptford and Surrey Quays/Rotherside in the Docklands, and out towards Bermondsey, the competitors raced along Jamaica Road before reaching the half-way point as they crossed Tower Bridge. Running east again along The Highway through Wapping, they headed up towards Limehouse and into Mudshute in the Isle of Dogs via Westferry Road, before heading into Canary Wharf. As the route leads away from Canary Wharf into Poplar, competitors ran west down Poplar High Street back towards Limehouse and on through Commercial Road. They then moved back onto The Highway, onto Lower and Upper Thames Streets. Heading into the final leg of the race, the competitors passed The Tower of London on Tower Hill. In the penultimate mile along The Embankment, the London Eye comes into view, before the athletes turned right into Birdcage Walk to complete the final 352 metres, catching the sights of Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, and finishing in The Mall alongside St James's Palace. This final section of the route formed part of the 2012 Olympic Marathon course.
Weather conditions were just about perfect, although slightly chilly at the start.
Jamie Barnett ran a superb race to smash the senior men’s marathon Club record by 9 minutes and bettered his personal best by 10 minutes!! He finished in 100th position in a time of 2:30:41.
Jamie is still a relatively inexperienced marathon runner, and did admit to starting slightly too quick, which cost him a few minutes later in the race! Jamie is looking forward to the Valencia marathon in December, where he is confident of lowering the Club record still further.
There were some outstanding individual performances from many of our Trotters. Melanie Dunn and Julian Skanes both posted new PB’s. Melanie clocked a time of 3:16:50 to finish 4280th and Jules finished in 3233rd position in a great time of 3:09:11.
Peter Kirby also created a new Club record by beating the previous 70+ marathon record. Peter’s new record is now 3:57:34, and a finishing position of 13857th.
Mike Hooper also ran fantastically well to post a time of 3:04:53 to finish in 2757th place.
Mandy Wheeler also ran a superb race finishing in a time of 3:18:23, claiming 4498th position. Mandy has been training specifically towards this race since the turn of the year, and her considerable hard training has paid off. Mandy’s time is even more amazing if you take into account her two enforced pit stops, one of which was to inform a marshal of a runner in trouble! A very sporting gesture.
A big well done to Laura Law, who completed her first marathon, and on the biggest stage!! Laura posted a time of 5:57:48 to place her 38782nd.
The other Trotters positions and times were: Gavin Mackay (2900, 3:06:21), Roger Hayes (3482, 3:11:26), Matthew Steele (3635, 3:12:32), Geoff Davey (3736, 3:13:13), Kurt Read (5009, 3:21:42), Paul Sharples (9299, 3:41:10), Tracey Elphick (12603, 3:53:46), Rachel Steele (12605, 3:53:46), Louise Gentry (14808, 3:59:56), Nathan Elphick (15609, 4:03:00), Lance Mason (23088, 4:31:32), Sally Ingledew (23089, 4:31:32), Amy Robson (23305, 4:32:21), Hannah Jones (23859, 4:34:37), Lucy Payne (23952, 4:34:56), Susanne Westgate (31324, 5:05:44), Jonathan Lucas (35088, 5:27:26), Joanna Billyard (39500, 6:06:45), Mark Walker (41052, 6:35:37).
A special mention must go to Mark Walker, who in the lead up to the race, picked up a calf injury that interrupted his training. A very spirited and gutsy performance Mark! All our Trotters performed terrifically and trained so hard to prepare themselves for the big one!!
The winner of the race was Eliub Kipchoge who broke the course record in 2:02:37. This was his 4th London Marathon win and is the current world record holder.
There were over 42,000 runners on a memorable day!!
Richard Keatley travelled to Walton-On-Thames, Surrey, to complete 10 marathons in 10 days!! An extremely tough test of mental strength and endurance, which Richard has in abundance. The first marathon started on April 13th, and the last ten days later, on the 22nd April. The weather conditions were kind for marathon running, with overcast conditions, but the temperatures rocketed for Richards final three tests, making the challenge that much tougher. The routes took the runners either east or west along the River Thames, and consisted of 8 laps each.
With these types of running events, the camaraderie between all the athletes is so supportive, as they all hope to achieve the same goal. Many runners struggled to complete the test, with some either dropping their mileage per day, or retiring due to exhaustion or injury. Richard showed a huge amount of determination to complete the challenge, which he duly did.
Richards’s marathon times were all very consistent, ranging from 5:30:36 on Day 4 to 5:46:30 on Day 10. Richard started to feel the pace come day 10, partly due to the mileage he had already run on the previous 9 days, but the hot weather was also playing a huge part over the Easter weekend.
Richard is now having a well-earned rest before embarking on his next challenge! A fantastic achievement Richard. Well done you.
Jolly Running held The Cupcake Caper on Sunday. The racing took place at the Riverside Valley Park in Exeter. Starting in the grounds of the Double Locks pub, the runners had to run as many loops as they could and wanted around a 3.3 miles long flat loop, within an 8 hour cut off point. The race started at 09:00 a.m. and as long as the runner had started a fresh lap before 16:45, they could complete one more loop.
Allen Taylor won the event, running 53.4 miles in 7:41:50, totalling 16 laps!! An amazing feat of endurance.
Kris Ward followed closely behind, in second place, also completing 16 laps in 8:01:30.
Kate Blackmore turned up at the event with a mind-set of running one lap, equivalent to 3.3 miles, but just kept on running, to complete her first marathon. It must have been the Duracell batteries?? Katey clocked a time of 4:58:51, to finish in 29th place. The first of many marathons perhaps?
The times for the other Trotters, including the number of laps completed (8 laps equalled a Marathon run). Sharon Sharples (30th, 8 laps, 5:06:07), Sue Tremlett (55th, 6 laps, 3:49:12), Suzie Mills (67th, 5 laps, 4:34:13), Joshua Taylor (72nd, 4 laps, 2:06:46), Kirsty Bowman (78th, 4 laps, 2:28:58), Emma Ray (91st, 3 laps, 1:43:50), Richard Keatley (111th, 1 lap, 00:32:53). There were 113 runners.
Martin Ewers chose this event to complete his 200th marathon! Martin’s family and friends were at the finish line to greet him. What a remarkable achievement.
The winning male, female and relay team received a handmade trophy from Teign Valley Glass. Each runner earned themselves a bespoke medal and a scrumptious cupcake to refuel on!!
Also on Sunday, The Clinic Maer 10k & Half Marathon took place in Exmouth.
Sue Brown, Paul Dean and Max Conroy represented the Club at the inaugural running of this event. The trio all competed in the Half Marathon.
A multi-terrain race started and finished on the beautiful Exmouth seafront. The course took the runners on a one lap route up out of Exmouth, along Douglas Avenue, before joining the Littleham to Budleigh cycle path. This led the runners on to Budleigh seafront via Granary Lane, before climbing out of Budleigh along the spectacular, but hilly, coastal path back to Exmouth. On this route it is not only the hills that will take your breath away!!
Paul Dean led the trio home, finishing in 47th place in a highly respectable time of 1:53:48. Max Conroy ran well also, clocking a time of 1:58:31 and Sue Brown finished in a very creditable time of 2:05:19 to finish in 99th spot.
Berihu Hadera representing Exmouth Harriers won the race in 1:21:07. There were 202 runners.