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Gallery: Personal bests are order of the day for runners from Ipswich JAFFA, Harwich Runners, Great Bentley RC and Chelmsford AC who took on 2014 London Marathon

PUBLISHED: 09:41 15 April 2014 | UPDATED: 13:19 15 April 2014

Jaffa marathon runners 2014

Jaffa marathon runners 2014

There were some scorching times set by many of our local runners, from across Suffolk and North Essex, at Sunday’s Virgin London Marathon.

While Kenyan world record holder Wilson Kipsang was busy setting a new course record of 2hrs 04mins 29secs, and Mo Farah was debuting at the distance in 2.08.21, East Anglian runners were having their own personal battles with the testing 26.2-mile distance through the streets of the capital.

Ipswich JAFFA could boast no fewer than six runners beating the three-hour barrier, most of them shattering their personal best times.

Will Law led the way for the Ipswich club. The 26-year-old hacked more than seven minutes off his previous best, set at Amsterdam just six months ago, thanks to a rip-roaring 2.36.58.

It was Law’s sixth marathon, but his first attempt at London. Certainly his punishing weekly average of 90 miles in training paid off.

“My race plan was to start gently and not too fast and record consistent paced miles,” explained Law.

“My main goal was to PB, but if the race was going well and I felt good, it was to run a negative split in sub 2.40.

“The race had a fantastic atmosphere and the weather was perfect, I hadn’t experienced a crowd where the whole course was packed out with support from start to finish.

“My favourite part of the race was approaching Big Ben and I knew then I had to hold on to my pace to reach a big PB.”

Law will now turn his attention to the Berlin Marathon on September 28, where he hopes to go even quicker on a flatter course.

Club-mate Brad Jones set an equally impressive PB of 2.38.50, which secured him 23rd spot in his over-40 age group.

Other JAFFA members to break three hours were Matt Hunt (2.46.39), Tom Fairbrother (2.47.30), Warren Birch (PB of 2.49.21) and Ian Coxall (PB of 2.58.02). It was a particularly strong run from Birch, who broke the club’s over-45 veteran marathon record.

In addition, Rick Weston, a second claim member of JAFFA, stopped the clock at 2.36.38, slightly below his best of 2.36.01 from last year’s London event. Weston runs first claim for Serpentine.

Elsewhere, Robert Reason celebrated his own personal landmark. The 34-year-old member of Harwich Runners registered a satisfying PB of 2.34.32, slicing nearly two minutes off his time of 2.36.16 from 12 months ago.

Harwich club-mate Brian Herrington was another to feature highly. The 45-year-old set a PB of 2.52.44 to finish 75th in his age group.

Ben Ficken flew the flag for Great Bentley RC, with a time of 3.07.56, which eclipsed his previous best of 3.25.14 from Milton Keynes last year.

Another of the blue vests, Great Bentley ladies’ team captain Vicky Presland, recorded 3.20.52, beating her previous best from London two years ago.

Marie Shirley, of Colchester Harriers, was just a whisker away from beating her PB of 3.02.03, set at the Berlin Marthon in 2012. Shirley, 34, beat her London time from last year, but was just outside her best in 3.02.31.

Other Essex runners to the fore included Chelmsford AC’s speed merchant David Fewell (2.37.06), and the Springfield Striders trio of Mark Newton (2.32.02), Tom Cammack (2.45.25) and Gavin Allen (2.48.18). Newton finished 50th overall.

Nikki Brockbank, also of Springfield, broke three hours for the first time. The over-35 veteran reached the finish in 2.59.03.

Bungay Black Dog had some notable displays from their veteran runners. Robin Farrar was 61st in his over-70 age group, while Bobbie Sauerzapf was 99th in the female over-55 category.

Mac Speake, of Bildeston Bounders, remains one of only 14 runners to have completed every London Marathon. Speake extended his unbeaten record to 34 Londons – his 4.54.40 placed him 67th in the over-70 age group. His eldest son, William Speake, ran 2.47.05.

Michael Greener was the quickest from Saint Edmund Pacers in 3.12.32.

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Ipswich Town new boy Dominic Iorfa believes his strongest position, in the long-term, will be centre-back.

Three of Ipswich Town’s summer signings are struggling to be fit for next Saturday’s Championship opener against Birmingham City, at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he will be restricted to signing a striker on loan due to the fact the Blues can’t compete financially with some of the ‘bonkers’ transfer fees being spent in the Championship.

Blues fans of all ages have gathered at Portman Road today to meet their heroes ahead of the start of the new season.

Huge queues are building up outside Portman Road this morning for today’s annual Ipswich Town Open Day.

The second tier season starts next Friday, however, clubs are working frantically to add to their squads, ahead of a long campaign. Several deals HAVE already been done though and CHRIS BRAMMER picks out six of the best.

Nearly 60 per cent of Ipswich Town fans would like to see Luke Chambers start in the heart of the Blues defence, alongside Adam Webster, when the Championship season begins next Saturday.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he is prepared to play a waiting game to sign the right striker before the transfer window shuts.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy won’t sacrifice results to satisfy supporters’ thirst for more attractive football at Portman Road this season.

Colchester United manager John McGreal insists his players still have a lot of room for improvement, ahead of the U’s League Two opener at Accrington Stanley, next Saturday.

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