This years London Marathon saw five Blackburn Harriers – Chris Davies, Conrad McKee, Rachel Wood, Paul Bradshaw, and Allan Hartley – racing and three of them gained new Personal Bests.
First one home was Chris Davies who ran a new PB of 2.49.41 which cut nearly 13 minutes of his only previous attempt at the distance – Manchester Marathon 2014 (3.02.31). He was delighted with his Race and commented “Will try again with this one. Managed a 2:49:41 today at the London Marathon, really pleased with it”. This time gives Chris an automatic Fast For Age Entry in 2016.
2016 Fast for Age Qualification Times
( In lieu of a photo – The 2.49.41 Vest)
Next in was Conrad McKee who had been struggling with an injury but was determined to compete as he was also running to raise money for his adopted Charity Addiction and he did really well to clock a time of 2.55 in his first ever Marathon. Afterwards he posted “Just a massive thank you to everyone who got me to the start line today and to everyone who sponsored me. Family, in laws, running club mates, everyone has been absolutely fantastic”.
Not far behind was Rachel Wood who ran 3.03 in her Marathon debut, a time which, like Chris gives her an automatic entry into the 2016 Race said afterwards “I’m gutted, I didn’t run under 3 hours.” No need to be, a great run and well deserved after all the training that went into it under the watchful eye of her dad.
Paul Bradshaw was attempting his third Marathon having run 3.22.41 at Liverpool in 2011 and 3.18.57 at Liverpool again in 2012. Paul set a new PB in London running 3.12 and said “Thanks for the support today…….. PB of 3.12 despite being hit by a John Barnes free kick with 5K to go.Awesome atmosphere, the people of London certainly get behind you”
Allan Hartley whose PB going into London was 3.21.25 had been carrying an injury and had to cut back on some of his training, so to run 3.23.14 was a great effort and he told the Club that “I felt i ran fairly well to say i had a bit of an injury, i was just steady away at 7.30 pace till about 23 mile then lost it a bit , but happy with my time”.
Cannot possibly leave this report without paying tribute to Paula Radcliffe. To run 2.37 without the proper training was fantastic, but more than that, the Race and her run gave the public at large an opportunity to see this fantastic athlete – the best female endurance runner ever produced in Britain and one of the most inspirational of athletes. Her 2.15.25 at the London Marathon was an astonishing run and set new bench marks for Women’s Marathon running. Whether any other female runner attains that bench mark in the near future, I am not so sure.