London Marathon roll-call
PUBLISHED: 18:08 26 April 2016 | UPDATED: 18:08 26 April 2016
Runners of all shapes and sizes, some fast, some not so fast, conquered the 36th staging of the London Marathon on Sunday.
And Suffolk and Essex again had big contingents of runners converging on the Capital, to enjoy cold, dry conditions for the traditional 26.2-mile route from Greenwich and Blackheath, to the Mall.
Suffolk’s own Mac Speake, one of only 12 runners to have completed all the previous 35 Londons, rattled up his 36th consecutive finish in 5hrs 18mins 04secs.
The 74-year-old, from Kettlebaston, was seventh fastest among the dozen ‘Ever Presents,’ all of whom finished to maintain their perfect records. Over-55 veteran Chris Finill, from Harow, was first home for the ‘Ever Presents’ in 2:56.05.
Mac’s oldest son, William Speake, who earlier in his running career clocked a scorching 2:26.48, was 111th in his over-45 age category in 2:53.47.
Vicky Presland, of Great Bentley Running Club, is now the fastest lady ever to run for the Essex club, over the marathon distance, after setting a terrific PB of 3:11.07.
Her club-mate, Eileen Shadford, has moved up to fifth in the all-time female rankings at Great Bentley, thanks to her PB of 3:28.29, while Andulu Stephens was another of the blue vests to celebarte a PB, with an effort of 3:35.31.
Robert Reason was once again the star of the show for Harwich Runners. He notched a swift 2:38.04, at a shade over six-minutes per mile, to finish 229th overall. It was his fifth consecutive appearance at London, with a PB of 2:34.32 from 2014.
By contrast, Harwich club-mates Will Roxby Clarke (4:07.32) and Robin Brookes (3:08.08) both completed their first marathons. For Brookes, he achieved his target of equalling the time of his late father-in-law, John Watt (3:08), a former chairman of Harwich Runners.
Ann Piercy, also of Harwich, finished a superb 53rd in her female over-60 category. Back in London for the third time in the last four years, Piercy registered 4:18.20, which was her quickest over this course by a six-minute margin.
Newmarket Joggers had 11 runners in action, including Denys Olefir, who was 151st in the mass field thanks to a cracking 2:34.59, while club-mates Paul Holley and Chris Gay also ducked under the three-hour barrier.
Colchester Harriers had two of their athletes celebrating top-100 finishes.
Carwyn Jones was 92nd in2:32.29, just pipping his training partner, Chris Sellens, who was a mere nine seconds behind in 2:32.38 for 95th spot.
Both athletes ran personal bests and have been coached by Pete West, who will be now priming his team for next month’s Halstead Marathon, which incorporates the Essex Marathon.
Also for the Harriers, Daz Farrugia ran another PB (2:41.40), as did Mark Harrod who stopped the clock at 2:50.50, while ultra specialist Allen Smalls reached the finish in 2:53.55.
Marie Shirley led the Harriers’ ladies home with another good run, only a couple of weeks after running 3:06 at Manchester. Shirley clocked 3:07.16 to finish 120th lady.
Club-mate Amanda Henry, although suffering an injury in the last 10km, hung on for 3:13.03 and a top-300 female finish (295th).
Laura Shewbridge had been struggling all week but managed to just pip her PB by clocking 3:14.15 for 325th place.
Elsewhere, Felixstowe Road Runners had a trio of sub-three hour speed merchants in Dave Solomon (2:54.22), Roger Stone (2:55.52) and Jason Taylor (2:55.57). Solomon was 119th in his over-45 section.
Peter Robinson led the way for Halstead Road Runners with an eye-catching 2:48.44. He ran an even pace, going through half-way in 1:24.24.
Ipswich JAFFA had a glut of good performances, especially in the age group categories.
Dave Lumby was 15th in his 55-59 year-old class, thanks to an impressive 2:56.15, and Belinda Godbold was 47th in the female over-55 equivalent with 3:51.33.
Robin Belsom also finished in the top 100 in his over-55 age group, taking 81st place with 3:14.35.
Further up the field, Will Law was JAFFA’s first finisher in 2:42.29, with club-mate Ben Turley (2:46.05) also well-placed.
For Saint Edmund Pacers, Jo Coates was a fantastic second in the 40-44 year-old female age group.
The experienced Coates, of the Suffolk Sports Injury Clinic in Fornham St Genevieve, near Bury St Edmunds, ran a storming 2:46.35 to finish 15th lady overall.
Her Pacers club-mate, Sarah Golding, was 48th in the 50-54 year-old category with 3:30.06, and regular competitor Roger Brand was the 58th over-65 veteran in 3:56.45.
Tom Fairbrother, of Woodbridge Shufflers, who is running 10 marathon this year, completed his third marathon of the month in 2:49.46, and there was a PB performance from Woodbridge club-mate Ian Coxall (2:57.57).
However, Matthew Hunt was the first Shuffler to reach the Mall, in 2:42.02, although that finishing time was more than three minutes adrift of his personal landmark time.
Meanwhile, former Suffolk-based runner, Aaron Scott, a regular winner of the Woodbridge 10K, romped home in a terrific time of 2:19.18. Running for Notts AC, Scott was a superb fourth in the mass field, a notable achievement, and was 25th fastest overall in a PB time.
It was not quite such a pleasant experience for Sharon Calton, a 46-year-old from Timworth Green near Bury St Edmunds. Calton felt very unwell during the race, with seven unplanned toilet stops culminating in a trip to St Thomas’ Hospital after the race. But she still managed 3:56.