Strong marathons in the big smoke

London Marathon 2019

An amazing 17 Dursley Running Club athletes had entered the VLM marathon this year. The excitement was steadily building all week, with the entrants hoping that the weather would calm down after the scorching Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Many weeks of training taking place just to get on the start line, and for some the process had not been smooth with Caroline Jones and Joe Ball both having disrupted training schedules. This year has seen a range of training groups and sessions so many were turning up with a good base, even if for some it would be their first Marathon. First timers included Ball, Martin Bragg, Dominique Pemberton, Emma Keating, Matt Turner, Becky Whatling and Eileen Hieron, a few had dipped their toe in before: Jones, Andy Kilby, Ian Roberts Stuart Gwilliam and Karen Eadon , with seasoned marathoners in the shape of Damian Lai, Neil Parry, Neil Hodgson and Mark Brasier.

Once gathered at the start the runners were greeted with a cool April day, albeit with blustery winds, the temperature was 10 degrees cooler than in 2018, and the impact of this was clear as many elite athletes ran personal bests. Eliud Kipchoge yet again showed his class running the second quickest Marathon time in history with a time of 02:02:38 breaking the course record along the way Bridget Kosgei ran the fastest ever second half of marathon to win the women’s race. Of the British runners Mo Farah was fifth and Callum Hawkins took two minutes off his personal best to finish in the top ten, proving that one bad race/marathon can be put right! Charlotte Purdue ran 2:25.38 to finish tenth and become the third fastest British women in history, behind only Paula Radcliffe and Yama Yamauchi. So for the Dursley athletes looking for a good time it looked like it was all to play for.

Parry led team DRC in the initial miles hitting the first 5K 21:46, with Gwilliam ahead of, Hodgson and Brasier, first time marathoner Bragg went through 5K in 23:44 giving him an estimated finish time of 3:20. Lai Dwas though 5k in 25:48. Parry’s pace started to drop back a bit after his fierce start, whilst Gwilliam was warming to his task, his second 5K seven seconds quicker. It took a while for the remaining DRC athletes to get over the start line. The first 5K are downhill and so it is notoriously difficult not to run a bit quick over the initial miles, only Gwilliam, Hodgson and Brasier managed to rein themselves in. Emma Keating and Dominique Pemberton were running side by side from the off and there would with hardly be a second to split them for the next 26 miles.

After the fast first 5k most of the DRC athletes reined back in and set a steady pace over the next 10 to 15k. By Half Marathon stage DRC had 9 runners under two hours with Parry and Gwilliam around 95 minutes. The trio of Neil Hodgson, Martin Bragg and Mark Brasier not far behind. Damo led Andy Kilby Paul Breen and Joe Ball over the half way-mark in 01:50, 01:52, 1:55 and 01;57.

Mark Brasier had been starting to slow over consecutive 5k splits before halfway, it looked like he was in for a hard day at the office. Turner was next over halfway in 2:16 and then a host of DRC came over close to 02:30, Jones, Keating, Pemberton with Hieron not far off the pace at 02:40 FV75 veteran Hieron had been keeping her pace very steady around the 8 min/km pace, ,as were Keating, and Pemberton who had settled into a c.7:20/km pace from 10k. Perhaps the model of consistency was Hodgson running between 04:43 and 04:51 up until the last 10k. He was not running at his fastest and as a result commented “A truly enjoyable run!! Loved it!!” At the sharp end for DRC Gwilliam was speeding up from 04:28 per km to 4:25 and then really pushing on running 4:13 from 35 to 40k and putting in a finishing effort at 04:11 pace, a consummate piece of distance running to complete the course in an excellent time of 03:06:53. Behind him Parry was pretty consistent, slipping back to 04:55 for the last 2k but he had done all the hard work by then and finished in super time of 03:14:19. Hodgson came home in a very respectable 03:25:22. Bragg was running one of the runs of the season in his marathon debut, his first 25k was run at an incredibly consistent pace, and when he started to slow he kept everything under control to finish in an brilliant 03:27:21, 68th M60-64. DRC spectator Margaret Johnson commented that “he looked the picture of concentration”.

Elieen Hieron also ran one of the outstanding runs of the day placing 5th in the F75 -79 category and displayed great control of her pace over the 26 miles. In fact nearly all the DRC athletes managed to maintain a steady pace over the course, and where they could not pick up the pace they controlled their deceleration as best they could. Finishing close to the 3:50 mark were Breen, Brasier and Lai. Ball finshed his first marathon in 04:14 just under 6 minutes ahead of Kilby. Jones and Matt Turner were next to finish. Keating and Pemberton continued their successful partnership, they had passed Roberts along the way and held their pace very well to complete the course in 05:18:54, Roberts held on to finish in 05:33; Hieron completed her amazing effort behind him with a time of 05:40:07.

Karen Eadon and Becky Whatling completing DRC incredible effort on the day. In terms of fundraising club members have raised in excess of 15K for a variety of charities and probably more, With Pemberton leading the way with over £4000 for Clic Sargent and Lai, Whatling, Eadon, Kilby and Kate Sackett all raising over £2K for the British Lung Foundation, Longfield Trust, The Childrens Trust and Scope, with other club members raising money for Linc Linc The Leukemia And Intensive Chemotherpay Fund, Dementia Revolution and Frontline Children.

VLM Results: Stuart Gwilliam, 03:06:53, 2964th , (196th M50-54); Neil Parry, 03:14:19, 3911th , (311th M50-54); Neil Hodgson, 03:25:22, 5696th , (795th M45-49); Martin Bragg, 03:27:21, 6068th , (68th M60-64); Paul Breen, 03:49:11, 11089th , (3935th MSen 18-39); Mark Brasier, 03:51:27, 11468th, (1581st M40-44); Damian Lai, 03:54:59, 11593rd , (1638th M40-44); Joe Ball, 04:14:02, 18374th, (6182nd SenM 18-39); Andy Kilby, 04:19:49, 18565th , (337th M60-64); Caroline Jones, 04:38:44, 24918th , (1418th F40-44); Matt Turner, 04:44:45, 17754th , (3136th M40-44); Emma Keating, 05:18:53, 33693rd , (1801st F45-49); Dominique Pemberton, 05:18:54, 33702nd, (6507th SenW 18-39); Ian Roberts, 05:33:44, 35905th , (3442nd M45-49); Eileen Hieron, 05:40:07, 36773rd , (5th F75-79); Karen Eadon, 06:10:13, 39682nd , (1411th F50-54); Becky Whatling, 06:45:30, 41322nd , (8978th SenW 18-39).

From Sea Level to Dusseldorf to Summit

Also running on the Sunday were Charlie Taylor who completed the Forest Warrior (Result tbc)

Hannah Osbourne Shakespeare Half Marathon 87th 01:59:14 (Chip), Quentin Somerset, The Shakespeare Marathon 495th 04:55:13 (chip) Matt Strezeckli the Dusseldorf Marathon 04:18:38,Kate Browning the Bath Beat Marathon, on Saturday, 27.99 miles in 05:24:57 (Strava) followed by Pewsey Ultra 35:21 miles in 07:26:46 on Sunday. Rachel Brown and Kevin Brockway took part in the Sea to Summit Marathon and Half, a very Hilly off road marathon. There was 6200 feet of climbing which meant some very steep tricky descents. Brown finished in 7 hours and Brockway finished in 8 hours 8 minutes. Kevin Jackson placed 4th senior veteran male; at the Frecnhay 10K. Result: K Jackson 57th, 44:33 (4th SenVM). Richard Pitts completed the Burnham on Sea Super Sprint, . 250m swim 10k bike 2.5k run. Pitts was 7th overall and 1st in 50-59 AG Swim T1 Bike T2 Run 4.15 0:78 18:59 0:51 11:57


21 parkrunners under the DRC flag this Saturday, Matt Rogers only 36 seconds ahead of Garry Strickland at Wotton to claim DRC’s fastest time of the weekend. Alice was back at Wotton notching up 79.% on Age Grade, with Paul Lee closest with 70.5% at Stonehouse. Three PBs: Tel Cother, Sarah Newall and Richard Hensman.