5th Mar, 2021

Marathons are proving popular

Stratford Editorial 31st Oct, 2019 Updated: 31st Oct, 2019

MARATHONS continue to dominate the Stratford Athletic Club agenda, from relatively small local events to internationally-famous events and more.

Ryan Bakewell’s meticulous preparation paid off in the Chelmsford Marathon as 600 runners followed an undulating course through the Essex countryside.

Bakewell had set himself an ambitious target. The night before, he had been awarded the club’s ‘Most Improved’ award and he said the honour helped to keep his concentration in the difficult latter stages.

His self-belief was justified with a finish time of 3:15:54 – a massive 30-plus minutes’ improvement on his previous best.

THE 40TH Dublin Marathon was a massive affair, with more than 22,000 entries and big crowd support. Three of SAC’s best distance runners took on the challenge and the near-zero temperatures and avoidable delays before the start did not help, but all three managed praiseworthy performances.

James Cusack, running in his home town, was delighted with a 3:18:45, just outside his London time, but felt the pain in the latter stages.

Emma Bexson is probably one of the few people who would even start a marathon with a chest infection, but even she had to adjust her goals after ten miles, settling for a “slow” 3:45:50.

Emily Adams struggled to get a rhythm in the beginning, but was happy with the vocal support which helped her through and more than happy with a finishing time of 3:52:43.

NOT one for the faint-hearted, the Snowdonia Marathon starts and finishes in Llanberis, climbs and loops around the summit, has a significant off-road element and this year featured generally poor weather conditions.

Tim Hutchinson, although still dogged by injury, was keen to measure his progress against previous year’s efforts. He was delighted not only to finish, but also to hit all of his intermediate targets and come within a minute of last year’s time in 3:16:13 (11th) in the M45 category and 79th overall, buoyed up by support from family and SAC friends.

THE SHEPTON Mallet 10k is one of Kate Sergent’s favourite runs and she reported “challenging, muddy, hilly but rewarding, with wonderful views of Somerset”.

She was pleased to finish in roughly the same time as last year – 1:01:44 and fifth in category – only a week after representing England in the Yorkshire Marathon.

PAUL Hawkins was again in action in Sunday’s Midland Racewalk League 10k at University of Warwick.

It was ten laps of 1km including a couple of tight turns. Unfortunately, he was full of cold so not at his best but decided to give it a go.

He was fifth early on then overtook John Constandinou from Birchfield after 6km and on the last lap moved into third place to finish in 63.17.

He was pleased to be only seven seconds slower than two weeks ago. The race was won by Graham Chapman of Headington in 58.44.

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