Sale Harriers wings its heartiest congratulations to Stockport’s ANDI JONES on his fantastic third time lucky victory in the Asics Greater Manchester Marathon two weeks ago on April 6th. (Andi’s wife Donna is a long-time middle-distance club member). Let’s hope we’ll be cheering him on in the summer’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Congratulations also to defending champion DAVE NORMAN (who competes for the club as a ‘Higher Claim Member’), bidding for a hat-trick of wins, who finished 4th but had every reason to be pleased having run over a minute faster than 2013 and his fastest marathon for 4 years.
Marathoning is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a brutal challenge and the ultimate endurance test that requires months of hard training, true grit, loads of stamina and an ability to endure a lot of pain. Well done to every participant. You deserve total respect – I remember it well!
The first club member home from those who toed the start line at Old Trafford was KATIE WHITE (2:56.43). Katie is a strong and able runner who’s just joined the club having moved to Manchester from her Scottish club. She ran a superb 2:56.43, dipping under the magical three hours from her previous marathon – her debut in Liverpool 2012 (3:01.40).
Next home was ROBERT DUNN in 2:58.34. Rob, with the club only a few weeks to ‘help improve me further’ following his 1:25 in the Wilmslow HM two weeks earlier, was ‘really pleased’ to dip under three hours and might have been even faster had he not suffered a ‘horrendous’ stitch. His outstanding memory was “the support along the route and the kid’s choir in Timperley”. He also raised £766 for the Christies.
Next was MIKE WYMER (M40) (4:17.45): This was Mike’s 2nd marathon with his debut in 2012 also in Manchester clocking 3:55.06. He attributed his slower time to ‘breathing problems’ so was pleased just to finish and aims to back to top form for the London Marathon. Again, he really appreciated the ‘great support’ from Harriers around the course.
VIVIENNE SLACK (L35) 3:01.32: Viv has recently joined the club from Manchester Triathlon Club. She's also a keen cyclist who rides with Manchester Wheelers and was making her marathon debut. She aimed for sub 3 hours so was slightly disappointed not to achieve it. However, she gave it everything and will surely be under the magical three hours next time.
PETER CRAWFORD (M35) (3:02.20). Pete was under par especially that he showed such great marathon promise in the 2011 Manchester marathon with an amazing 2:38.52 and also his 2:44.44 last year. Let’s hope he’ll be right back up there in 2015.
NICK PEACH (M50) (3:18.46): Nick was a nationally-ranked Sale Harrier as a youngster with such best times as 8.33.89 for the 3000m S/C in 1986 and 31.05 for 10,000m in 1994. He’s raced sparingly in recent years and says he was ‘bullied’ into this debut marathon by his nephew (who wanted to beat him); his wife who’d risen to the marathon challenge as part of her bucket list and a group of thirteen colleagues fund-raising for an orphanage in India. “It wasn’t easy” he wrote, “The last three weeks were enforced rest due to injury”
ANNE CHINOY (L40) (3:25.00): Delighted Anne wrote, “Wow - what a fantastic experience! Last year, I watched from mile 16 having just completed my first ever half-marathon and I resolved to enter in 2014. As a relative new-comer to running, I never imagined for a moment I’d be able to complete it in 3:25:00. The support en route was incredible and I was very proud to be wearing my Sale Harriers vest. Though I managed to run a negative split (just!), I inevitably found the last 8 miles really tough and the motivational support from fellow Sale Harriers and friends really spurred me on. I literally felt like I was running through treacle towards the end e. A very special thanks to JERRY SMITH for training with me over the past 5 months. I definitely couldn't have done it without him” Anne also raised nearly £1200 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association in memory of a close friend's father, Gerry Murray who was himself a marathon runner throughout his 40's, but passed away in November
GARETH MILLER (3:29.46): Gareth is another club newcomer making his marathon debut. Well done Gareth!.
ROBBIE GREENSLADE (M40) (3:32.04): Robbie was ‘absolutely delighted’ to finish his debut marathon and raise £700 for St. Ann’s Hospice. His outstanding memory was the support from Sale Harriers team mates who were marshalling. “It REALLY made a difference”, he said.
EMMA FINNEY (3:42.29). This was Emma’s 3rd marathon and she felt its pain more than any of the previous ones. Her PB of 3:20.53 was established at last year’s London marathon and the previous year she completed the Manchester Marathon in 3:26.26 so inevitably disappointment. You’ll be back fighting, Emma!
Unfortunately, committed runners JERRY SMITH and TIM RAINEY did not finish (DNF) This is a wise and sensible decision for runners under duress or injury. Jerry wrote, “I completely ran out of energy at mile 14” and Tim wrote, “ Pulled out before six miles - got a muscle tear in my right quad before 3 miles. They’ll be back!
Not everyone toed the line at Old Trafford! The Marathon also embraced Marathon 4 person relays and two person relays. There were 150 x four stage relay teams with three of them Sale Harriers. The first team home with the accumulated time of 3:17 were known as the “Mamas and Papas” MIKE BARRY ran the first leg, then CARA KAVANAGH, CAT JONES and HELEN ARMITAGE. Because Mike was really poorly on the day, struck down by a stomach bug, the team were about 20 minutes slower than they’d predicted. Nevertheless, the quartet were 8th team overall - and the first Sale team – having caught “The Yummy Mummies Team” in the last mile.
The Yummy Mummies completed the course in 3:18.51 for 9th place and 3rd ladies team. This quartet comprised LAUREN DAVIES, ALISON PYE, LYNDA ROWLINSON and JACKIE CORDINGLEY. It was Alison Pye’s first race back in green following her baby Ewan. She wrote, “I ran quicker than I expected and felt there was more to come which is promising with The Welsh Castles Relays and a 9.5 mile relay leg of the Chesterfield marathon lined up”. Lynda wrote, “A brilliant experience, a great way to soak up the marathon atmosphere without having to do all the hard work” and Jackie reported “I really enjoyed it. My fourth leg was on home territory along Manor Ave , Carrington Lane ,Church Rd to Stretford and Old Trafford so I enjoyed all the home support”
“The Manchester Tarts” that comprised AUDREY GRESTY, DIANE HENIGAN, KAREN SHEEN and DAWN HOLDING were ‘happy’ finishing in 3:42 despite being seven minutes slower than last year. Diane, now living in Liverpool and a member of Penny Lane Striders, had a great race; Audrey had a good run; Karen had to pull out the day before because of injury and was replaced by non-club member Cathy Jimenez who had an ‘awesome’ run and Dawn completed the quartet despite recovering from a hairline fracture of the rib and been out of action for 3 weeks.
There were also forty-one teams who ran a half-marathon each and the Sale Harrier duo of LOUISE ROBBINS (who ran to Altrincham) where JENNY MILES took over, finished a tremendous 8th team with a combined time of 3:50.17:
All participants agreed it was ‘a humbling experience’ to be cheered on by the full marathoners as they were passed. There was a further consensus that, though the relay was a great way to experience the marathon without having the gruelling task of the training and completing the whole thing, some felt a ‘bit of a fraud’ being cheered on by people who thought they’d run the entire distance and found themselves explaining they were part of a relay team. They, therefore are to propose to the organisers that future marathon relay teams wear a ‘Relay Team’ notice on their backs.
Finally and certainly not least was the club army of volunteers who marshalled the route around Sale. Not only did almost 60 members brilliantly ensure a safe and successful passage through Sale and but their enthusiastic support brought a smile, wave and n encouraging spring into the step of hard-working and tiring marathoners. They also raised a nice sum of money for club coffers. Finally, club Chairman DAVID BROWN CBE and his wife CAROL were again start/finish officials with David again the Marathon’s Chief Starter.
Posted 13/04/2014 22:55