For those lucky enough to have run London, you will know there is no event quite like it. A spectator-lined 26.2 miles from Greenwich to the Mall, it’s as much a celebration of running as it is a race. With months of training, early weekend long runs and sleepless nights all leading up to the day itself, thankfully there was no repeat of last year’s heat wave.
The Harriers were out in force, with 20 running and countless more giving up their Sunday to come out and support. A big thanks to Mike Jarvis, for allowing some of us runners on to the marshal’s coach.
Everyone will have different experiences and stories from the day. For me, I went out hoping to dip under 2.45. I held it for the first 16 miles or so before slowly but surely the wheels started to fall off. I really struggled in those last 4-5 miles, but the brilliant support and encouragement from all the Harriers helped no end in picking me up and pushing me on to the finish. The next Harrier home was Tom Woolley, who despite recently returning from injury and after a very brief marathon training plan put together a brilliantly consistent run going through half way in 01:32:27 to finish in 03:05:52. Tim Lucas followed shortly after, finishing well in 03:07:08.
Our first female Harrier home, was Harriet Wooley in 03:07:15, earning a brilliant 16-minute pb and a championship qualifying time. In the race for 5th Harrier, Geoff Turner pipped Cathy Gill by 1 second, finishing in 03:18:44 to achieve a well-earned good for age time. Cathy finished in a consistently paced 03:18:45 (01:38:27 through half way), a huge 18-minute pb made more impressive by her training, which peaked with just one 13 mile long run (The Paddock Wood Half).
Tev Austin (who can be spotted in the BBC coverage of the start) followed in 03:23:28, beating his time from last year by over 7 minutes. In a close battle for 3rd female Harrier, Hayley Larkin ran a well-paced race, dipping under 3:30 to finish in 03:29:14. Nicola Morris was close behind in 03:31:04 and shortly after her (and according to power of 10) for her debut marathon was Harriot Sinclair in 03:32:09.
Sonja King ran well to finish in a new pb time of 03:42:10, with Martin Hobbs producing a debut time of 03:47:53.
A group of Harriers finished around the 4 hour mark. Steve Wellstead dipped just under 4 hours, achieving a new pb with a 3:54:50 finishing time. With almost clock work like pacing and precision, Stella Richardson went through half way in 01:59:12, finishing in 04:00:18 to smash her previous pb set in 2012 by 13 minutes. Shortly behind Stella, Derek Harrison also ran a very evenly split race to finish in 04:00:41. Rounding off the 4 hour group, Amanda Smith came home in 04:01:37.
Mark Davey followed in 04:14:16. Not far behind, three Harriers made it in under 4:30: Kate Wadell in 04:24:26, Andrew Boorman in 04:26:15 and Allan Jones in 04:29:58 for a new 8 second pb.
Well done to everyone who ran it. Running a marathon is one of the hardest things to do, as so many things can go right or wrong on the day – which is why I love them so much. I hope everyone enjoys some well-earned rest now… my legs certainly need it.
A huge thanks to all of the Harriers who were out supporting all around the course. It really helped so much in pushing us towards that finish line.
Apologies if I missed anyone – I used the official London marathon results to find Harriers, along with power of 10 for pb stats.
Ed once again has posted some fantastic photos from the day on the Harriers website, which can be found here