|MKL: Best ever position|
Nineteen members of Grantham Running Club finished the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 22nd April. With temperatures reaching 23.2C in St James’ Park, the 38th edition of the race was officially the hottest on record, making the already not insignificant task of running 26.2 miles markedly more challenging. The legendary crowd support made the task slightly more bearable but ultimately it was for most runners, be it debut makers or seasoned campaigners, a race where just finishing was a fantastic achievement.
First home for GRC was Matthew Kingston-Lee, who paced himself well to finish 329th overall, eighty places better than twelve months earlier and his best ever placing at London. He was also a highly creditable 60th in his age category.
“I knew within the first minute of the race that conditions were too warm for a PB effort, so I went off conservatively, picking up the pace gradually over the first three miles and thereafter aimed to maintain a consistent pace to the finish.” commented Matthew after the race. Going through halfway in 1:23:20, Matthew hardly slowed at all in the second half of the race, coming home in 2:47:27.
|Holly: Ranked well inside top 100|
“The conditions made it incredibly hard going and honestly I cannot say I enjoyed the race, although the crowd support was immense, as always. Given the conditions I am very content with my time, even if it was six minutes slower than my PB.” Matthew continued.
Next home for GRC was Holly Durham who put in an equally determined effort to clock 3:22:26, placing her 293rd in the women’s race. Holly stated after the race: “Not a PB, but I’m fairly pleased with my time considering the heat. By mile ten I knew it wasn’t going to happen which took the pressure off and meant I could just enjoy it!”
Second claim GRC runner Mark Wilson finished in 3:35:03. Like Dean Riggall, who finished in 3:35:27, Tony Johnson (3:36:44), Gerry Hyde (3:49:37) and many others on the day, they suffered particularly in the second half of the race, mainly due to the heat. Dean’s wife Julie, taking part in her first ever marathon, ran well to clock 5:31:02.
Mark Hillson, perhaps mindful of his temperature related collapse at the 2017 Manchester Marathon, abandoned any thoughts PB attempt before even starting and ran a superbly judged, even paced, race to finish (upright and walking!) in 3:53:04.
Penny Hodges, who described her London Marathon as ‘horrific’ and was ‘glad just to finish at all,’ suffered from a fast start and the cumulative effects of the heat. Despite being physically sick shortly after halfway, Penny battled on resolutely to break four hours, clocking 3:56:36.
|Dean found it hot|
Nick Rossington, running with his son Charlie, finished in 4:06:32, but more significantly raised over £11,000 for CLIC Sargent, who supported Nick’s daughter Alice and the family during her battle to overcome bone cancer. Describing the atmosphere as ‘electric’ Nick reflected the stark contrast to the stifling heat of the day compared to training in the coldest, longest winter in living memory. Julie Gilbert and Rachel Pattison also completed the London Marathon in support of CLIC Sargent, raising just shy of £4000 to date. Running together from start to finish, they both finished in 6:25:37.
Following Nick, Liam Vincent was the next GRC finisher in 4:33:39. Jason Walker, running his first marathon, chose to do so in costume as Deadpool , raising funds for Hospice UK. His finishing time of 4:48:40 is an hour or slower than he will run in more suitable attire and with better conditions, but his efforts and those similarly dressed are part of what makes the London Marathon so special as an event.
Wayne Baxter, competing in his first marathon, ran a fine race to finish in 5:05:22. Marc Tremain, running his second ever marathon, suffered badly in the conditions, but did manage to break his old PB by two minutes with his 5:41:02 clocking. Based on other recent performances Marc can look forward to smashing that time by well over an hour.
|Jason feeling the heat|
Last, but by no means least, to finish for Grantham Running Club was Rebecca Jones. Becks, raising funds for NSPCC, was not in the best of shape to take part in the race, but having already deferred her entry in 2017, was aware that this may be the last opportunity to take part in a race that is hugely oversubscribed. Finishing hand in hand with her supporting husband Scott, she can rightfully claim that she successfully finished the hottest ever London Marathon to date!
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