Sidmouth Runners scorch through London Marathon
Five members of Sidmouth Running Club reached the end of their long training programmes through a wet cold winter and made their way to London last weekend for one of the greatest running events in the UK.
The London Marathon was held under cloudless skies with the temperature at St James’s Park reaching 24.1C, the highest since it was first run in 1981. All 5 Sidmouth runners were amongst the 40,000 who managed to finish in challenging conditions which led race organisers to urge them not to aim for personal records in pre race briefings, and to report after the event that they had distributed around four and a half litres of water per person.
Despite the conditions the Sidmouth Runners delivered scorching runs. With separate start locations, Claire Ashby, Kerry Boyle, Antony Hall, Anne Langworthy and Nigel Maeer all set off at a good pace.
Kerry Boyle, who was raising funds for the Institute of Cancer Research in memory of a close friend, said, ‘I wanted to enjoy this race and the amazing sights of London, I knew with all the nerves and adrenaline rushing through me I could have set off too fast. So I really kept my pace steady for the first few miles. The atmosphere and emotions really hit me as I ran past the Cutty Sark and had to push back the tears as there was a long way to go!’
Antony Hall soon started to lead the field for Sidmouth with Kerry, Claire and Nigel within a few minutes of each other for much of the race, but unaware because of the number of runners. Anne Langworthy said ‘Mile 6 and with a blister on my little toe it felt like my toe was dropping off, mile 20 the blister on my right heel popped and on the final straight at 26.1 the blister on my left heel broke. It was worth every mile though!’
Antony had gone off fast and pulled the pace back a little at the halfway mark, finishing in a fantastic 3:34:10. Nigel Maeer, Claire Ashby and Kerry Boyle kept a very consistent pace in the first half, with Kerry picking up the pace at 25k and almost managing a negative split.
Kerry said, ‘I caught up with the 3hr 45min pace runners, then at around 20miles when I was starting to struggle I heard the familiar voice of Nigel saying ‘alright Kerry’? Neither of us were but we did our best to keep our chins up and keep going which felt like plodding by now! Then with 4 miles to go I had to make a decision, with my thighs burning from the heat and exhaustion do I keep pushing or do I walk? I thought of all the reasons I was doing this marathon, remembered those hard training runs past Turf locks along the Exe estuary and up on East Hill strips, the memory of my friend Rich. I just had to run my own few last miles and keep going until the end, to get that medal.’
As Kerry crossed the finish line in sub 3hr 50min she heard an exhausted Antony who was slumped on the grass call her name, and soon after Nigel appeared and then Claire. Anne came in smiling despite the pain. Claire paid tribute to the support from Sidmouth Running Club ‘A memorable day and some heroic efforts! We seriously earned our medals. It was brilliant to have so much support from the Mighty Greens’.
Antony Hall 03:34:10, Kerry Boyle 03:49:09, Nigel Maeer 03:49:40, Claire Ashby 04:20:04, Anne Langworthy 05:56:16