Virgin London Marathon 28-4-19
With the spring marathon season well under way Great Yarmouth Road Runners have had representation at numerous recent marathons including Brighton, Manchester and Bungay. Each year dozens of GYRR members enter for the London Marathon. This year 10 members were lucky enough to take to the start.
With over 400 000 entries into this prestigious marathon there were just over 42 000 finishers at the 39th staging of this event. On a day with close to perfect running conditions, the GYRR were spread across the 3 main start areas in London’s Greenwich Park.
Club coach, Andrew Baker, led his team home with an impressive time of 3.19.54 and whilst this was not a PB, he did himself proud in the middle of his gruelling training programme for his upcoming Iron Man competition in July.
Penny Studley ran her 7th consecutive London Marathon in London and was delighted with a personal best of 3.31.58. Nicola Baker and Jo Anverali ran most of the route together. They had followed the same training programme, and this was Jo’s first London. Nicola stretched ahead to have a strong finish in a PB time of 3.44.09 ahead of Jo who also set a PB of 3.46.41. All three ladies have run a time that would currently see them achieve a Good for Age automatic qualifying time for London 2020 when the marathon will be celebrating its 40th run.
Gary Pillar was awarded a sought-after club entry into this year’s London after his name was drawn in the club ballot. He fully embraced this opportunity and finished just outside the 4-hour mark in 4.01.49 which is impressive as he only ran Manchester Marathon three weeks earlier. The other club place was deferred by Elaine Stone who had trained so hard but took the sensible decision to withdraw after being plagued with a persistent injury.
Claire Baker and Emma Dawson were both delighted with their marathon experiences. For Claire she earned an excellent PB of 4.13.54 drawing much inspiration from her family who were supporting on the course. Emma fulfilled her dream of not only completing her first ever marathon but to do it in London in a time of 4.46.06. Emotions were running high on the day with everyone experiencing an immense sense of achievement.
Congratulations to Kelly Shaw, Adrian Penn and Nicos Symeou who raised lots of money for their various charities. Nicos is a true veteran of the London Marathon and this year enjoyed dressing as Denis the Menace. He was seen on TV passing over Tower Bridge with a cheeky grin.
Enjoyment is key, although the dedication to the training is a huge commitment. The GYRR team was so grateful to the travelling team mates who travelled on the day to spend the day cheering enthusiastically at the 13- and 22-mile points. It gives the runners such a boost. The ballot for the 2020 event is open until this Friday at 5pm for anyone wishing to enter. It truly is a day like no other.
The full results for GYRR are below:
Andrew Baker 3.19.54, Penny Studley 3.31.58, Nicola Baker 3.44.09, Jo Anverali 3.46.41, Gary Pillar 4.01.49, Kelly Shaw 4.12.41, Claire Baker 4.13.54, Adrian Penn 4.21.17, Emma Dawson 4.46.06, Nicos Symeou 5.46.39.
Report by Penny Studley.