Good afternoon to the Green Army. Bringing you the news you are all so desperate to read.
A very exciting (well, not quite Olympic fever but not far off) Sunday was had by many on Facebook as we tracked the London Marathon green vests through their (for many) first time slapping the streets of our capital city. We had Chris BH, Gaz O’Connor, Carl Platt, Degsy “Messi” Morris, Potential Word Record Breaker that is Ste Roach for the chaps and Joanne “FloJoJo” Lacking and Tanya Meredith for the chapettes.
I shall hand you over to Chris BH for his report on this iconic road marathon….
Well, that was quite an experience. Much has been made of my conversion to road running from the hills and I can now confirm my road running retirement! The London marathon was a fantastic experience and I’m forever grateful to the club for the place and the opportunity to compete. For those that were convinced I’d go under 3 hours and ignored my protests of it being set to be a close one I think my time of 2:59:14 makes us both right . Having been put in pen 3 at the start due to a clerical error (having me down as a finish time of 3:24) I managed to fold and pin my number in such a way that I still got into Pen 1 with Jeff McQueen from West Cheshire. A huge relief for me. Being able to run with Jeff was a huge boost. We didn’t do a lot of talking, but at least my cyanosis faded within the first mile of the race.
From then on I ran within a metre of some chap called Jenson. Assuming somebody just had their name on their top it took me ~3-4 miles to realise the constant calls of encouragement were because it was Jenson Button. Having paced him to tower bridge I let him head on whilst I did my best to manage the fade in pace. The first half had been great, I saw Laura and the boys at Cutty Sark and was running smoothly and at a pace I felt I could hold.
The second half was a different story. The constant screams and noise from the crowd really encourages many, but for me it was a minor prison sentence as I struggle with loud volume noise. Some sections were just a deafening wall of sound which I found really quite distressing… especially as I was going backwards fast! As I rounded the penultimate bend in front of Buckingham Palace my face would have reflected horror as the 3 hour pacer overtook me. Seeing the clock still with 2 as the first digit as I crossed the line was an enormous relief! I’d like to thank everybody from the club, not least for the place, but for the fantastic support, encouragement and banter I had during training for this. Naturally I’d also like to thank my long suffering wife Laura for putting up with me – I think she was more relieved than I was that I dipped under 3 hours!
Huge well done to CBH for gritting through the training with Fitzy, we know how much he despises anything that doesn’t have a vertical climb of Empire State Building! A cracking run and a very sought after sub 3 was perfectly executed. Degs was in after Chris, with a very quick 3:08:48 – brilliant for a Professional Amateur Footballer with constant football afflicted injuries ;-). Coming in first for the ladies and with a cracking 12 minute PB was FloJoJo Lacking. Brilliantly paced run by FloJoJo for a 3:18. Then with his second marathon in a week after doing Manchester the week before, was Gaz with a respectable 3:23, huge well done Gaz, no mean feat, especially for an old dude who drinks cans of lager like corporation lemonade pre race. Carl Pratt was behind Gaz with a cracking 3:31, he has been on brilliant form the past few weeks and topped it off with a great marathon time. Then we had the quite possibly mad, Ste Roach who for some reason decided running holding a huge pan dressed in chef’s whites would be a great idea and it turned out on the day he was up against two other runners going for the same record! He did us proud and beat them both and securing the World Record! Brilliant work, Ste. Then last but no means least, Tanya, fresh from her Barcelona marathon only a few weeks ago, ran a PB in 5:09!! Huge congratulations to you all.
The full results for the Green Army were:
Chris Baynham-Hughes: 2:59:14 (PB)
Derek Morris: 3:08:48 (PB)
Joanne Lacking: 3:18:25 (PB)
Gary O’Connor: 3:23:04
Carl Pratt: 3:31:49 (PB)
Stephen Roach: 4:47:51 (World Record for a runner dressed as a chef carrying a huge pan!)
Tanya Meredith: 5:09:47 (PB)
Next, on to the Borders League final race in Wrexham Industrial Estate and the presentation of awards. There was a huge presence of green vests, especially from the men who were desperate to get their long sought after promotion to the First Division. Which they did! Well done chaps! First time in 15 years they are back up where they should be. Some cracking running from everyone this year,which shows how much the club is progressing. Colin Thompson finished the league in a fantastic 6th overall place! He just keeps going from strength to strength and amazing to see after he used to be a podgy lazy smoker… 😉 Colin Bishop, showing his incredible pedigree at any age, won the V50 by a mile! A huge inspiration to many and I am not sure I have ever met someone with his mental ability to run so hard. Ladies winners were Joanne Lacking who was third in the FV35 category and Carol Shaw, again another huge inspiration to many who won her category too! Well done everyone, the Helsby lot will be a force to be reckoned with over the next few years in this league.
On to parkrun stattos…
Louise McEveley: 42:03
Stephen Wiggins: 42:08
Paul Bulmer: 42:09
At Ellesmere Port:
Neil Finegan: 19:07 (New PB!)
Ben Williams: 26:15
Colin Thompson: 17:37 (2nd and New PB!)