ATHLETICS - Stratford runners out in force at London Marathon and Shakespeare Marathon - The Stratford Observer

ATHLETICS - Stratford runners out in force at London Marathon and Shakespeare Marathon

Stratford Editorial 23rd Apr, 2024 Updated: 25th Apr, 2024   0

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Athletic Club athletes were out in force competing in the London Marathon and Shakespeare Marathon.

The Shakespeare Half and Full Marathon returned to the calendar after last year’s hiatus and Stratford celebrated a double success in the event.

Ben Kruze won the men’s Half Marathon with a time of 1 hour 11 minutes 2 seconds while Maisie-Joy Spriggs stormed to victory in the women’s Half Marathon in a time of 1 hr 27 mins 6 secs.

Fellow Stratford runners Matt Burdus-Cook (fifth) and Ned Campbell (seventh) also finished in the top-10 while a further 19 club members completed the Half Marathon.

Over the Full Marathon distance, Stratford’s Phil Reading topped the club’s finishers in a time of 2:49:54 while Steven Batsford (3:23:51) and Emily Carr (4:09:48) also completed the race.

Elsewhere, some 25 Stratford athletes headed to the capital as Andy Lawrence smashed the club record time for the London Marathon after finishing the race in 2 hrs 30 mins 54 secs.

Lawrence knocked six minutes off his personal best (PB) time while four other Stratford runners, Dan Southam (2:39:00), James Cottriall (2:45:00), Andrew Cox (2:54:17) and Seth Turner (2:55:39) all achieved sub three-hour times.

They were closely followed by Stuart Lawrence-George (3:06:41) while Adam Linforth (3:19:51) set a new PB and Owen Lewis (3:41:54) and Gerard Thompson (4:04:54) also completed the race.

Visually impaired runner James Morrison finished in a time of 4:19:53 alongside his running guide Ollie Harrison.

Just behind were Justin Tilley (4:22:50) and Ian Greaves (4:26:24) while Tom Puar (4:43:53), Richard Hartwell (5:17:38) and Stuart McLean (5:41:06) completed the men’s contingent with the latter running to raise money and awareness for autism in honour of his grandson.

Maliha Abdul-Hakim (3:28:27) led Stratford’s women home closely followed by Kate Barney (4:01:04) and Sarah Dichard (4:18:13).

Susant Hunt (4:18:40) decorated her vest to honour both London and Stratford-upon-Avon with Clare Weatherhead (4:20:08) just behind.

Fresh from running the Rome Marathon last month, Lisa Stevens (4:44:18) took 28 minutes off her PB with Rabia Abdul-Hakim (4:59:54) and Sandie Owens (4:50:09) next to cross the finish line.

Stratford’s Kate Sergent finished her fifth London Marathon in 4:50:33 to place 20th in her age category as Megan Easley (6:05:17) completed the women’s contingent.

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