London Marathon: club runners from Suffolk and Essex dazzle on the London streets

Lewis Sullivan, of Saint Edmund Pacers, pictured after finishing 11th in the under-15 boys' race at

Lewis Sullivan, of Saint Edmund Pacers, pictured after finishing 11th in the under-15 boys' race at the London Mini Marathon. The top 10 were all older than him. - Credit: Archant

Personal best times were the order of the day as club athletes, fun runners and charity fund-raisers galore enjoyed ideal running conditions at the 39th staging of the London Marathon on Sunday.

Mac Speake, left, wearing his medal after completing his 39th London Marathon. He was one of just 11

Mac Speake, left, wearing his medal after completing his 39th London Marathon. He was one of just 11 'First Timers' who had run every London before Sunday. His daughter Rachel Speake also conquered the 26.2 miles at London - Credit: Archant

While the Kenyan duo of Eluid Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei blasted around the familiar 26.2-mile course to win the individual titles, hundreds of runners from Suffolk and North-Essex were following behind, relishing their own personal battles.

Woodbridge Shufflers had some fine results, not least Heather Noone’s time of 2:48:35. This took a minute off her previous best of 2:49:33, set at the Kent Spring Marathon just three weeks earlier!

Club-mate Matthew Hunt also had a good day, eclipsing his preview mark of 2:38:30 from Valencia, five years ago, with a time of 2:35:38. Hunt was 30th in his 40-44 year-old section.

Ipswich JAFFA had several runners ducking under the three-hour barrier, including a fantastic run from Laura Thomas, who was the 49th female finisher in 2:52:40.

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Will Law clocked 2:40:14, Adam Wade stopped the clock at 2:51:56 and Suzy West was the 100th female finisher in a fine 2:58:36.

Marathon machine, Andy Wilmot, clocked up yet another marathon. Wilmot, of Halstead Road Runners, has run over 700 marathons. His 4:34:47 time saw him finish 54th in the 70-74 year-old age group. There were sub-three-hour times for the Halstead RR pair of Gavin Allen (2:51:12) and James Smith (2:54:18).

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In the colours of Hadleigh Hares, Scott Ramsey ran a scorching 2:37:46, which brought him home in the top 300.

Harwich Runners had a number of speed merchants on show, spearheaded by Robert Reason who was under a minute outside his personal best (2:34:32 set at London in 2014) with 2:35:24.

Over-40 veteran Stephen Peck celebrated a big PB of more than four minutes (2:44:21 at Halstead last year) with his 2:40:07, which earned him 73rd in his age group.

The Felixstowe Road Runners duo of Dan Clark, left and Alastair Read, who stopped for a selfie on To

The Felixstowe Road Runners duo of Dan Clark, left and Alastair Read, who stopped for a selfie on Tower Bridge with some club supporters. - Credit: Archant

There were swifts runs from the Harwich duo of Robin Brookes (2:53:19) and Simon Day (2:53:21).

Ashley Smy, of Framlingham Flyers, timed it to perfection, blessed with an official time of 2:59:59. It was his third sub three-hour time inside the last two months, following his efforts in Tokyo and Boston, USA.

Flyers club-mate Lee Barber celebrated a big PB of 2:57:13, as did over-40 veteran Jim Last, who knocked a big chunk off his previous best (2:42:22 from London, 2017) with a 2:37:23.

Bungay Black Dog’s Matthew Spencer was another to slice several minutes off his PB. Spencer had set his previous best of 2:38:36 at last year’s Chester Marathon, but he cut that to a superb 2:32:26 at London. Club-mate David Sparshott also made inroads into his PB with 2:39:45.

Likewise, Nate Filer led the Colchester Harriers charge with his best-ever 2:40:10, and there were many PBs in the Newmarket Joggers squad, led by Chris Gay, who clipped eight minutes off his best (2:40:07). Neil Pollard (2:44:41), Mark Hayward (2:49:29) and Grainne Brennan (3:10:14, 279th female) also set new landmarks.

There was a good run from Mark Watts, in the colours of Saint Edmund Pacers. He was 41st in his 55-59 age group with 3:03:04.

A good contingent from Felixstowe Road Runners were led home by excellent PB displays from Tony Gavin (2:40:10), Dave Solomon (2:52:16) and Darren Cook (2:54:18). Solomon was 45th in his 50-54 year-old age category.

Meanwhile, Mac Speake, of Bildeston Bounders, maintained his perfect record of completing all 39 London Marathons. There were 11 ‘Ever Presents’ before the race, and Speake kept his membership of this esteemed group with a 6:29:29 time. He was 49th in the 75-59 year-old category.

Before the main event, the London Mini Marathon took place, over the final three miles of the marathon course, and there was a terrific Suffolk double with under-13 wins for Ben Peck (16:07) and Ruby Vinton (17:15).

A party of Felixstowe Road Runners before the start of the marathon, at Greenwich

A party of Felixstowe Road Runners before the start of the marathon, at Greenwich - Credit: Archant

Brandon-based Peck said: “I was a bit nervous, because I haven’t done many runs on the roads. But I got a fairly good start and I sat in with the leading group up to 500 or 600 metres to go, when I made my break before the last corner.”

Grundisburgh-based Vinton said: “I got a good start and set off in a group of five or six. I decided to up the pace from about 3K and moved towards the front. I had a lead of about five metres going into the last 600 metres.

“I didn’t know what to expect last year (16th spot). It was my first experience of the race and I was very nervous, but I knew what to expect and knew what I wanted to do this time.”

Bury-based Lewis Sullivan was a fine 11th in the under-15 boys’ race. He said: “I was first in my age group band, because the top 10 ahead of me will all be running in the under-17s next year, whereas I will still be an under-15.

“I’m very happy with my time of 15:23, because that showed an improvement of more than a minute on last year.”


List of local affiliated club runners, from Suffolk and North-East Essex, who ran Sunday’s London Marathon:


Ruth Eberhardt, of Newmarket Joggers, after running her first marathon in 3:57:34 on Sunday

Ruth Eberhardt, of Newmarket Joggers, after running her first marathon in 3:57:34 on Sunday - Credit: Archant

George Shiplee 3:51:34 (Bungay & Beccles Harriers); Thakeni Marston 3:55:34, Chris Mills 5:06:25 (both Beccles Tri)


Rachel Speake 4:33:32; Mac Speake 6:29:28 (run all 39 London Marathons).


Julian Johnson-Munday 4:41:58; Rebecca Silkstone 4:06:26.


Ruby Vinton with her winner's trophy at the finish of the London Mini Marathon, on The Mall.

Ruby Vinton with her winner's trophy at the finish of the London Mini Marathon, on The Mall. - Credit: Archant

Lucy Chapman 5:27:13; Joanne Cox 3:32:07; Laura Deal 5:27:36; Maria Drummond 5:47:56; Peter Edmunds 4:05:53; Robin Farrar 5:23:57; John Fensom 3:38:43; Anna Gray 3:54:57; Rachel Hirst 4:47:52; Tim Hirst 5:31:09; Jo Lockhart 3:52:00; Emma Meiring 4:38:14; Sabrina Norton 3:58:47; Mitzy O’Loughlin 5:31:34; Nick Roper 2:50:03; David Sparshott 3:54:09; Matthew Spencer 2:32:26; Sean Symonds 3:39:32; Harpreet Thandi 5:53:52; Martyn Woodgate 5:27:36; Stuart Young 4:36:44.


Andrew Budd 3:28:38; Nicola Whitley 4:25:56.


Rachel Dale 4:05:39; Paul Dellar 3:12:38; Nate Filer 2:40:10; Adam Gerrish 3:51:00; Katie Gibson 5:00:10; Samantha Hart 4:19:38; Craig Mitchell 3:55:44; Jamie Nelson 4:23:15; Douglas O’Neill 3:43:57; Paul Rodgers 2:59:30; Marie Shirley 3:17:14; Malcolm Statham 3:36:03; Clive Thomas 2:59:47; Jay Waite 3:27:19; Jerry Walder 3:16:32; James Wright 2:56:36; Louise Yates 5:00:05.


Mary Burgess 5:26:18; Dan Clark 3:47:41; Darren Cook 2:54:18; Brett Deakin 5:04:24; Paul Dorset 5:17:18; Becky Foster 3:55:32; Tony Gavin 2:40:10; David King 4:46:01; Samantha Linassi 3:38:42; Alastair Read 3:48:49; Angela Soames 5:57:25; Dave Solomon 2:52:16; Carla Wiggins 4:57:10; Peter Woods 5:54:09.


William Aldred 2:14:28; Lee Barber 2:57:13; Adam Howlett 2:58:32; Jim Last 2:37:23; Chris Leek 2:53:35; Mandi Moyse 3:50:59; Ashley Smy 2:59:59; David Watson 5:14:11.


Maria Jesus Bautista Fructuso 3:50:21; Paul Blackwell 4:51:38; Helen Carey 3:55:19; Anthea Colsell 4:05:52; Alison Day 3:48:55; Luke Groves 4:15:59; Meera Rajoo-Oakley 3:35:22; Eileen Shadford 3:24:27; Nina Simmons 4:48:51; Kevin Stevens 3:37:20; Anna Young 4:03:17.


Scott Ramsey 2:37:46; Oliver Riches 4:03:30; Katrina Rigby 3:55:48; Kevin Scutcher 3:50:13; Laura Shewbridge 3:10:45.


Gavin Allen 2:51:12; Sarah Frost 5:54:43; Adrian Gasser 4:53:28; Paul Hinsley 2:28:53; Katie Martin 6:11:46; Charlotte May 5:48:20; Alexander Mckinlay 3:26:08; Tom Potter 3:02:26; James Smith 2:54:18; Andy Wilmot 4:34:47; Sam Wolton 4:23:54.


Russell Brady 4:55:21; Robin Brookes 2:53:19; Simon Day 2:53:21; Lian Meachen 5:44:36; Zoe Orr 5:47:39; Stephen Peck 2:40:07; Robert Reason 2:35:24; Dean Splarn 5:20:03; Amy Westall 6:07:57.


Darrel Buckley 4:40:58; Matthew Clarke 2:33:32; Rachel Darvill 3:58:05; Shirley Fowler 4:32:46; Vicki Gilbey 4:23:29; Lisa Harling 4:55;09; Martin Lawrence 3:29:11; Craig Sisson 3:27:15; Fiona Tideswell 3:13:58; Simon Wallis 4:11:31; Charlotte Westrope 5:20:27; Fran Williams 5:38:37.


Lucy Barnes 3:07:05; Rebecca Smith 4:54:56.


Michael Carpenter 4:30:40; Alistair Duke 3:29:32; Richard Hewitt 3:14:59; Kat Parnell 3:25:48.


Warren Birch 3:37:35; Lesley Cooper 4:42:53; Chris Dutton 6:03:19; Derek Hood 4:44:45; Laura Ripman 3:48:52; Will Law 2:40:14; Dave Lumby 2:57:32; Tim Newton 3:45:25; Robert Page 3:34:50; Mark Rose 3:36:21; Daryl Simpson 4:09:53; Ashley Smy 2:59:59; Daniel Summersgill 3:27:25; Laura Thomas 2:52:40; Adam Wade 2:51:56; Suzy West 2:58:36; Jennifer Wright 4:42:53; Maureen Wright 5:00:38.


Marie Ayers 4:23:35; Leila Bye 4:47:41; Emma Garrard 5:52:07; David Graham 4:33:18; Katy Oldman 3:30:12; Susan Perry 4:22:33.


Sarah Boneham 3:50:12; Grainne Brennan 3:10:14; Nicholas Chapman 4:12:13; Robin Clifford 3:04:41; Ruth Eberhardt 3:57:34; Chris Gay 2:40:07; Mark Hayward 2:49:29; Sarah Lash 6:10:44; Giles Macrow 4:30:47; Neil Pollard 2:44:41; Jeremy Reader 4:23:08; Ian Woodroffe 5:08:03.


Oliver Boughton 3:26:25; Mark Coates 4:03:19; Michael Falcone 2:57:58; Jamie Fittock 3:17:13; Lynn Gargett 6:07:52; John Greener 3:18:02; Michael Greener 3:03:48; Phlip Hymers 3:43:44; Stuart Matthews 3:24:36; Hannah McInroy Naylor 3:34:13; Denys Olefir 2:54:43; Oliver Peacock 3:30:33; Andrew Pearce 3:34:01; Cally Place 3:42:36; Tristan Powter 3:29:32; Michael Rushton 4:05:26; David Swales 5:43:17; Chris Underwood 4:47:28; Mark Watts 3:03:04; Sandra Webb 3:39:02; Vince Webb 3:24:20.


Ann Boulter 4:47:21; Thomas Haslam 3:07:35; Mandy Jordan 4:49:30; Keelan Smith 5:19:12.


Kate Beer 4:28:03; Dan Belcher-Hackett 5:04:12; Bill Besley 3:53:28; Amanda Brewster 5:22:37; James Cooper 4:12:37; Karl Cridland 4:58:15; Peggy Fuller 7:18:07; Louise Goddard 4:49:05; Phil Green 3:31:00; Karen Hamilton 4:44;48; Dianne Hughes 3:57:17; Steven Hughes 3:12:05; Richard Leeder 3:41:01; Mary Narey 3:41:35; Gemma Porch 3:27:06; Christian Seymour 3:10:47; Ross Wilcox 3:11:40.


Ann Alexander 5:41:57; Brian Bloomfield 4:49:48; Jodie Budd 5:12:21; Jules Cooper 4:44:02; Lisa Dalton 5:14:30; Charles Hann 3:20:41; Jackie Hann 3:59:19; Kieran Hayles 4:30:21; Steven Jeggo 4:19:40; Mark Johnston-Wood 4:07:01; Jennifer Merry 4:57:13; Ian White 3:54:38.


Tina Clarke 4:44:32; Katrina Finch 4:09:39; Danielle Harrington 3:31:13; Larina Marsh 4:53:40; Alison Peace 4:52:20; Stuart Peace 4:10:50.


Jason Browne 3:26:14; Lisa Cone 5:00:23; Lee Cook 2:55:23; Claire Green 6:02:40; Demelza Hammond 5:00:23; Matthew Jeffries 2:37:30; Rebecca Langford 3:41:51; Lloyd Scriven 3:04:20; Stuart Spurgeon 3:41:32.


Jack Anthony 3:27:39.


Thomas Ashley 4:00:29; Mark Austin 3:22:46; Martyn Byford 4:08:21; Penelope Clarke 5:35:24; Leo Cole 3:06:31; Darren Digby 5:04:14; Hayley Ellen 3:19:14; Charlotte Elms 3:51:02; Jonathan Hocken 3:29:21; Victoria Hunt 3:24:48; Andrew King 3:32:34; Heydon Mizon 2:46:35; Kerry Pryor 4:35:34; Matthew Pryor 4:06:36; Octavia Singleton 3:32:56; Giles Sowerby 2:58:29; David Stevens 2:56:33; Rachel Sweatt 2:55:35.


Matthew Hunt 2:35:38; Caspar Le Fanu 2:50:17; Heather Noone 2:48:35; Benjamin Solway 3:52:37.

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