LONDON MARATHON 2016
The 36th running of the London marathon saw 15 Sale Harriers toe the line to follow the famous route from Blackheath to the Mall. For several of the runners this would be their “A” race of the year, after using the winter cross-country season to build their base and strength before facing into the 20+ mile and long tempo runs of marathon-specific spring training.
Leading up to marathon Sunday, the prospect of wintry conditions and even forecasted snowfall added to the traditional pre-race anxieties and taper-induced paranoia. Thankfully the running gods were in benevolent form as race day dawned cool and bright with little or no wind, so blaming the weather for a poor performance was no longer an option! The early miles tend to be quick with some downhill stretches and for those starting in a fast wave, it’s easy to get towed along and settle into a fast cruise. Caution is required though, as any impetuousness here can result in cruel punishment in the latter stages. Crowd support was of course fantastic and helped the miles tick by as runners made their way past the famous first half landmarks of Cutty Sark and Tower Bridge, buoyed on by the endless cheers and party atmosphere.
Between halfway and 20 miles, acknowledged as the no-man’s land of marathoning, mental toughness is called for as runners navigate the twists and turns of the Isle of Dogs and on to the Docklands and Canary Wharf. Time to dig in now as you turn west for the last time and strike out on the long 10k home. The likes of Kipchoge & co will turn on the afterburners at this point, hoping to drop any rivals and make their bid for glory, but for us mere mortals it’s usually a case of trying to hold it steady and just keep those creaky legs turning over.
Drop down onto the banks of the Thames for the last few miles, the crowds getting larger and more vocal, and you sense the end is not far off. Catch a glimpse of St Paul’s on your right and maybe offer up a desperate prayer, because you’re suffering now…or at least you should be! With less than a mile to go, Big Ben looms and we turn sharp right onto Birdcage Walk before the final turn onto the famous red tarmac of the Mall. Give a quick wave to Lizzie as you pass the big house, then fix your hair and try to keep good form for the last 200m to cross the finish line. After collecting medals and goodie bags, several runners, families and supporters convened in a nearby hostelry to swap stories and quaff some well-earned pints…well done to all!
A special mention must go to the non-running members who turned out to offer some much-needed support along the way. In particular Richie Edwards, who managed to appear at several points on the course with shouts of encouragement…rumours of him breaking his own half marathon PB remain unconfirmed at the time of writing.
Matt Bond 2:15:32 – A stunning performance to set a new club record, well done Matt!
Sonia Samuels 2:32:00 – After running the Olympic qualifying time last year at Berlin, she ran a canny tactical race to finish 2nd British female and book her ticket to Rio. Best of luck Sonia, we’ll all be cheering you on in August!
Andy Carlin 2:41:11 – Continues his fine early season form with a great time and new PB. Fastest performance of the Crossford crew.
Callum Rowlinson 2:47:06
Ben McIntyre 2:52:31 – Very happy to bag a big PB, by almost 7mins over Boston last year. Pre-race target of 2:55, ended up starting out at slightly faster pace but was pleased to hold it steady and finish with close to an even split.
Gary Rowlinson 2:53:35 Vet 50 runner and not far behind his son.
Lee Kaufman 2:55:43 – A great run from Lee, ran a classy negative split on his way to a new PB.
Nick Webb 3:04:27 – Very pleased with this, a big PB and improved by 5mins over last year’s VLM. Enjoyed a comfortable first half, although was disappointed to be dropped by a dinosaur in the second half. A near-flawless performance, alas Nick blotted his copybook by getting caught drinking a half-pint in the pub afterwards.
Kevin Foster 3:09:21
Mike Ashby 3:09:49
Rachael Rozhdestvenskaya 3:29:03
Tim Rainey 3:29:12 – A very steady run from the veteran marathoner. Impressive considering he ran Manchester just 2 weeks beforehand.
David Connelly 3:43:36 – His debut marathon.
Marinda Breddy 4:15:59 – her second marathon and a huge PB of over an hour. Despite the crowds holding her up somewhat, she loved it so much she is already making plans for London 2017!
Ranjit Bennett 4:34:26
Posted 10/05/2016 10:19