Nine athletes from North Herts Road Runners tackled the hottest London Marathon in history and all came away with war stories about the impact of the conditions.
John Auld secured an impressive new personal best of 2.50.48 after a sensible mid-race change to his original plan for an even faster pace. 'It was just too hot to get my time' said Auld. 'I was already thinking about adjusting my plan before halfway.’ Reflecting on a demanding training programme since New Year he joked ‘I wish I’d had the 16-week weather forecast – I’d have had a relaxing winter!’
Darren Sunter described it as 'a day for survival, not for best times’ after nearly abandoning his race. 'I was sitting by the side of the road at 15 miles - I nearly binned it' he admitted. Sunter got himself moving again and still clocked an excellent 3.05.35.
Kat Burr was the Squirrels’ first lady finisher in the London field this year. After battling the heat she reported she was ‘super proud’ to finish in 3.45.23 in the ‘crazy hot’ weather.
Adrian Sherwood and John Rayner both felt the effects of the warm conditions, with Sherwood slowing in the second half of the race to finish in a still creditable 3.31.50 and Rayner pulling out at 18 miles after a visit to the medical tent.
Jen Naisbitt showed great determination to finish in 5.57.32. Despite being sick at miles 20 and 22 she said she ‘carried on regardless’. Mark Edmondson-Jones finished in 3.19.29, Chris Poole in 4.18.40 and Paul Bowal crossed the line in 5.12.42.
Angeliki Stathopoulou found an even hotter challenge in the form of the Athens Poseidon half-marathon. Despite running the second half of the race ‘with completely numb legs from the knee down’ after problems with her calf-sleeves, Stathopoulou was pleased to finish as 34th lady in 1.53.29.
Serial marathoner Jo Summers took a more rural approach to the discipline by completing the Breckland Trail Marathon in Thetford Forest. Starting and finishing at the HQ of the British Trust for Ornithology, Summers slowed her pace in the heat (‘I just slow down and enjoy it’) but still finished third lady in 4.21. Her personal highlight for the day was hearing two Cuckoos: ‘I can’t remember when I last heard one, so to hear two in one morning was brilliant’.
Closer to home, Alan Hazelhurst completed his first ever Parkrun, recording 27.59 on the Letchworth course.
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