GREAT DAY FOR WACers IN LONDON – 13 April 2008
The day of
reckoning was finally here. After all those months of training, today
was the day it all had to be pulled together. With WACers having clocked
up so many training miles, and with so many of you out there (we
equalled last year’s record number), for sure it wasn’t going to be all
plain sailing. Some WACers got in with qualifying times, others through
the ballot or with charity places and yet more with club places. The WAC
club places were, at one time looking like a poisoned chalice, with all
three who qualified via that route suffering injury problems and
interruptions late on in their training. Fortunately two of the three,
Cathy and Wendy,
made it on the day, but poor Andy Porter had a problem with his back and
was unable to recover in time. Hopefully we will see Andy back on the
road in the next month and we look forward to seeing him come steaming
along Birdcage Walk using his deferred place in 12 months time.
Cathy, Claire, Michele and
Nicki were our first time marathon runners. As mentioned Cathy had a few
injury concerns late on, but the other three could stand on the start
line knowing they had prepared as well as anyone, put the miles in, and
avoided all but the most minor of injuries. It is hard to be confident
when you are taking on such a big challenge for the first time, but
knowing you have prepared properly will ease the nerves a little as the
tension and nervous excitement starts to mount amongst the runners in
the lead up to start time.
Adie Mead, who has done
more London Marathon’s than any other WACer, would have been perhaps
even more apprehensive than our marathon first-timers as he had been
hampered by injury problems from the outset, and he had just not managed
to get the training miles in. Adie, who we have seen run a series of
sub-3hour Londons in the past, is a man for the big occasion though, and
he would need his big heart and belligerence to get him to the finish
this time. He was determined to finish even if it meant walking the last
Jeff Hinsley and Jerry
Shield both had their own concerns in the last 10 days before race day,
Jeff with some soreness in his hip and Jerry had been under the weather
since coming back from a holiday. Simon, Pete, Richard, Craig, Peter and
Becky, Robin and Wendy are old hands at marathon distance and all had a
good idea of what they were in for.
The day itself was a
stereotypical April day. Cold-ish, some patches of glorious sunshine
(although the breeze stopped the temperature from rising too much), and
some pretty heavy showers usually falling as rain, but once or twice
turning to hale. There are worse conditions to run a marathon in, as
Martin Lel proved in setting a new course record.
Around 9.30am a group of
WACers, including Barb Frampton, Juliet Mellor, Guy Miller and assorted
Billintons, Kennedys and Maddison/Meads, arrived at Birdcage Walk and
hoisted our Standard from a nearby lamp post and draped our WAC banner
over the barriers. We had our red and black balloons aloft all ready for
when the runners went past. And of course we had the bells!!
In the next few hours we
saw the last few junior runners go by in the support events, the
wheelchair athletes, and the elite runners, ladies and men – well done
Liz Yelling. We heard about a gas leak early on in the route which led
to a last minute diversion which apparently added another 2 to 3 metres
to the route. Does that make it an Ultra then! We were now awaiting our
Our first expected WACer
was Simon, with a projected time of 2:50. True to his word he was
there or thereabouts and he looked as comfortable as any WACer we saw
all day as he cruised past us on his way to the finish line. We wish him
well with his next big goal a triathlon in Brazil in May.
was next WACer in - the bug he picked up 10 days before the race had
little impact as he recorded another great time.
was the next WACer through – although he wasn’t wearing a club vest so
we failed to spot him. Pete aimed high, and scored higher. He set out
for a target time of 3:15 which would have been a PB and beat it with
minutes to spare – outstanding.
The next red vest that
came into sight was Richard’s. Another outstanding performance.
Richard has been in and out of hospital over the last 3 years for
numerous operations and had a couple of battles with MRSA and here he
is, within touching distance of a PB – inspiring stuff.
Next up is the corkscrew
mop of big Adie. How does he do it – with hardly any training
this time around, he still bags a 3:21 - awesome.
is next. His fantastic run at the Bournemouth Bay Half a few weeks ago
suggested we could see something special. Our second PB of the day, an
improvement of nearly 20 minutes!
Next across the finish
line were Becky and Peter who cross the line together feeling
pretty ragged. Peter got what, on the face of it, looked a great
pen position at the start, but the runners around him swept him along a
little too quickly, he was aiming for 7 min. mile pace and found he was
running 20seconds a mile faster than that early on – and still being
engulfed by those behind him. Those early quick miles began to tell
later in the race and eventually he and Becky met up. Becky was
having her own dramas though and was suffering with a little cramp. They
worked together through to the end despite feeling they had been running
on empty for some miles. Despite all these traumas Becky managed to lop
off a whopping 15 minutes off her PB, WAC’s third PB of the day, and
managed to record the fastest time for a WAC lady - this century!
Hot on their heels was
Cathy, in her first marathon. An excellent debut. Cathy’s story can
be found elsewhere on the website – see ‘My
first London Marathon’. Mark had joined us at Birdcage Walk in time
to see Cathy speed past us totally in the zone – fantastic! I am
looking forward to seeing Cathy and Becky back out there pushing each
other next year, I feel confident both can go even quicker. They turn
their attention next to leading the charge with Wimborne Wildcats (WAC’s
ladies team over the Ridgeway).
Next in was Robin –
although unfortunately the WAC supporters failed to spot him. Robin was
another who had a fight on his hands, as the ex-MDSer struggled with
cramp from 15 miles onwards, he still managed to record a sub-4hour time
– a battling stuff!
had perhaps the toughest race of any of the WACers. A few days before
the race he developed a sore hip. I don’t think he thought it was likely
to cause too many problems, but 26 miles of tarmac is an unforgiving
surface. The hip threw out Jeff’s knee and also caused problems in his
upper leg. The latter stages of the race became a relay from one first
aid station to the next. He still managed a smile when he went past us
on Birdcage Walk somehow – a brave, brave run.
was next, in her debut marathon. An outstanding run, she trained
conscientiously with Claire as her training partner, they both benefited
enormously from the support they offered each other. She looked really
strong at the finish, clearly there is more to come from here – superb.
is a great example of someone who can set herself a goal and then go out
and nail it. It’s hard to believe she has been running for little over a
year. April 2007 she did the 4 mile time trial for the first time, the
following month she was plunged into the Ridgeway team and it has just
snowballed from there. Claire has the satisfaction of knowing that her
debut marathon time was faster than Craig’s debut. On that basis I am
looking forward to seeing her third marathon!
was the next debutant home and she ran most of the race alongside Wendy.
They had clocked up quite a few training miles together. Michele took
her preparation very seriously and this paid dividends on the day. The
one thing you can’t train for is how the occasion and the adrenaline and
euphoria of London Marathon day might effect you. Michele passed all
those tests with flying colours too. An excellent debut with a strong
finish, well done.
was the next one home, this was her second London Marathon. On the
positive side the experience from last year stood her in good stead, but
on the down side she had suffered quite a few interruptions to her
training schedule, firstly with an achilles problem, which thankfully
appears to have cleared up, but in more recent times with a shin problem
that persists. The shin was a real cause for concern on race day.
Bearing these trials in mind Wendy’s run, which was a PB by around 13
minutes, was a very impressive result. Now it’s time to go and get that
shin sorted properly so as to maintain that bid for Fidelity in the
Dorset Road Race League.
So WACers saw the usual
range of highs and lows that a marathon will throw up, fortunately with
more of the former. Well done to all of you, although we have seen
faster individual WAC times before, I think this year’s was the best
collective performance we have seen from the club. 15 runners, 4 PBs,
and 4 great debuts, a good day’s work. See you next year on Birdcage
Full results are below
along with splits.
LONDON MARATHON RESULTS
20k 13.1m 30k 40k time
Mortimer 39:21 1:19:03
1:23:21 1:59:07 2:41:23 2:51:00
Shield 43:26 1:26:38 1:31:12
2:10:03 2:57:34 3:08:38
Lemon 43:15 1:28:52 1:33:50
2:15:04 3:01:46 3:11:52
Atkins 43:24 1:29:01
1:33:59 2:15:39 3:05:50 3:16:32
Mead 43:13 1:28:46
1:33:44 2:16:01 3:09:57 3:21:52
Dixon 49:14 1:35:57 1:40:52
2:22:07 3:12:25 3:23:51
Wood 50:21 1:39:24 1:44:48
2:28:57 3:22:08 3:36:27
Wood 42:36 1:25:14 1:29:51
2:10:39 3:22:58 3:37:14
Hartle 49:16 1:38:45 1:44:14
2:29:38 3:25:56 3:38:54
Hughes 49:33 1:40:19
1:45:57 2:36:25 3:41:46 3:56:16
Hinsley 55:42 1:48:33
1:54:07 2:45:49 4:04:52 4:20:29
18026 Nicki Roe
1:01:07 2:02:39 2:09:18 3:05:37
Newby 1:01:07 2:03:40
2:10:33 3:09:37 4:17:03 4:31:37
2:11:51 2:18:56 3:22:14 4:27:55 4:40:47
Kennedy 1:02:01 2:11:50
2:18:57 3:22:14 4:27:56 4:42:18