Lighting up London
Congratulations to the 25-strong contingent who competed in the Virgin Money London Marathon last weekend, in which the Club achieved a record-breaking second place in the Championship team event.
First home was Belal Ahmed who sliced more than a minute off his previous best time for the distance and had clearly benefitted from a week’s altitude training in Morocco as he finished seventh in the field of over 42,549 runners in 2:21:40. Close behind was Richard McDowell who finished 10th, achieving his goal of first M40 home and clocking a lifetime best of 2:23:08 in the process. For McDowell it was a just reward for a meticulously planned programme of training, racing and competing for the Club, which began with two runs on Christmas Eve and involved fitting in 100 miles a week around work and family life.
Third HW finisher was Dimos Evangelidis who was 34th and 4th M40 in 2:26:13. Adam Blythe, making his debut in a HW vest, and competing in only his fourth marathon, chopped more than eight minutes off his previous best to finish 54th overall in 2:28.08. Tom Buckley, running in only his second marathon, was 178th in the men's race in 2:34:26, a massive improvement of more than seven minutes on his debut appearance in Stratford-upon-Avon last May.
The Club also had 23 youngsters in the Mini Marathon over the final three miles of the course starting at Old Billingsgate. Highest placed runner was Ellen Weir, representing Merton, who was fifth out of 173 runners in the U15 race, and 9th in the girls race overall, clocking 17:59. Georgie Clarke, representing Wandsworth was 19th in the U15G race in 18:48, with Lulu Weisz and Millie Thorpe, also running for Merton, 25th and 36th in 19:05 and 19:28, respectively.
Fastest in the boy’s races was Hector Revill (left, alongside Morgan Rennie, 52nd for Merton in the U15 Boys race in 17:45). Hector was first home of the Croydon team and 40th out of 147 runners in the U17 race in 16:37. Hans Hinde (Merton) was 32nd out of 180 runners in the U13 race in 18:30 with Thomas Beare (Croydon) finishing 44th in 18:40.
The long and the short of it....
The inaugural 100m/Mile Night on Wednesday saw HW's Charlie Eastaugh (above right) win the final Dave Clarke Mile race of the night in the tightest of finishes, clocking a pb of 4:19.19 and securing the prize money for the best Mile time by a male runner. Ross Franks was third in 4:20.70, with Jonny Cornish fourth in 4:22.07 – pbs for both.
Naomi Taschimowitz of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers claimed the women's prize with a time of 4:47.76 – another pb on a night which saw 41 personal bests and 7 season's bests from the 51 milers. With two photo finish cameras in operation the milers were also given a 1500m time, many of which also constituted pbs or sbs.
While the sprint turnout was lower than hoped for the first running of this event, there was still a close final race in the second of two rounds of 100m, with Nicholas Atwell of Thames Valley Harriers (above left) securing the prize money for best male sprint performance with a season's best time of 10.94 (from round 1) and Noelle O'Regan of London Heathside taking the prize for best woman's sprint performance, with a season's best time of 13.38 (also from round 1).